Pumpkin, Carrot and Potato Soup

Autumn in a bowl 


Autumn is one of my favourite seasons in Australia. There’s a slight chill in the air and beautiful heartwarming colours of orange, red and yellow everywhere. It is one of the most picturesque sites to see. 

This autumn was made even better with the birth of my second son Jai Alexander. I mean how time flies my older son is nearly two, I am a mother of two and life is just that little more chaotic but oh so beautiful. The merriment around the house tripled as my parents were visiting too. I can’t explain watching my parents with my children in words except that it filled my heart with so much love, warmth and gratitude. 

To celebrate our little bundle of joy and the last remaining days of autumn, I decided to cook with colours of autumn.  I’m not a fan of pumpkin per say but I have to admit when combined with other warming flavours, it truly shines. So I decided to make a pumpkin, potato and carrot soup with chilli, lemon and ginger oil. 

Ingredients: 16   Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

For the soup

  • Half a pumpkin (I used butternut), peeled and cut in cubes 
  • Two carrots, peeled and diced 
  • Two to three potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • One onion, chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, chopped
  • One bay leaf
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • One teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One vegetable stock cube
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to season 

For the lemon chilli oil

  • Five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One to two red chillies, chopped
  • One thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One to two kaffir lime leaves

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add garlic, once aromatic add onion and cooking until lightly caramelised.


Now add all the vegetables, followed by all the spices (except the stock cube). Mix well. Then add one litre of water, stock cube, season with salt and cover the pan with a lid. Let the soup simmer on a low heat until vegetables are cooked.


To make the flavoured oil, combine all the ingredients in a pan and let them simmer on a low heat for five to seven minutes or until aromatic.

Using the stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt as required, add more water if needed to reach desired consistency. Again let the soup simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes.

Garnish with a generous drizzle of the chilli, lemon and ginger oil. Serve with a side of garlic bread and feel your heart and soul warm up with this autumnal goodness.

Dill and Lemon Fish with a Pea Mint Mash

Something a little special 


One of my favourite things to do over holidays is have family or friends over and indulge in leisurely and delicious dinner parties. Something a little different from the usual culinary fare and something a little special too. The recipe I’m sharing today is just that. 

I made this meal when our family was over and staying with us for the easter long weekend. Like me, my family is made up of devout foodies, we all live to eat. I wanted to make something a little extra special for them but also something that didn’t require slaving in the kitchen for hours on end.


Inspired by flavours from Greece this fish recipe makes the perfect use of fresh herbs and dried spices. I love the  freshness and simplicity of Greek food. This dish is so aromatic, with every bite you can smell and taste each distinct flavour. Served on a bed of pea mint mash not only makes it healthy but also a little extra moorish.

So the next time you have guests over, pull this trick out of your hat. It’ll be a meal they remember for a long time to come. 

Ingredients: 14  Cooking time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 6

For the fish 

  • Six fillets of white fish ( I used gummy shark)
  • One punnet of dill, finely chopped
  • Half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 100gms of capers, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • One teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 300ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to season 

For the pea mint mash

  • 500gms of peas
  • Two teaspoons of dried mint leaves
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt to season 

Begin by marinating the fish. In a large bowl combine, oil, dill, parsley, capers, oregano and chilli flakes. Mix well. 

Add the fish and using your hands gently rub the marinade on all the fillets. Cover the fish with cling wrap and put it in the fridge for five to six hours. This will allow all the flavours to seep into the fish.

While the fish marinates prepare the pea mint mash. Boil the peas for seven to ten minutes or until soft. Rinse with cold water and drain them. Now mix all the ingredients in the blender and blitz it. Season with salt as required, pea mint mash is ready.

To cook the fish, heat a heavy bottom frying pan and add the oil from the marinade. Use more extra virgin olive oil to cook the fish if required. Place the fillets in the pan and cook for four to five minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked. Drizzle lemon juice on top of each fillet and sprinkle salt to taste.

Before plating up warm up the pea mint mash. Add a large spoonful of the mash on a plate and gently place the fillet on top. Drizzle the oil from the pan on top for more flavour. Season with cracked pepper and serve.


 

Lemon Caper Spaghetti with Carrot Ribbons

Back with a bang and some lip smackingly delicious pasta…

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After a two month-long hiatus, LSD is back! Did you miss your daily dose of lip smackingly delicious food? Apologies to have kept you hanging. I was holidaying in India with my wonderful family, I was forbidden to enter the kitchen and was thoroughly spoilt with an assortment of my favourite dishes everyday. Knowing this, I am sure you can excuse my absence.

Now that I am back in Melbourne, where the weather is cold, dark and grey most days – I can’t help but rekindle my love affair with food, trying and testing recipes and bring them to you. In return I ask that you share your comments and feedback with me, because let’s be honest feedback is the motivation needed to keep LSD going.

Moving on today is monday and I am sure you’ve had enough of it already. To make your dinner woes easier today’s recipe is a quick, easy, flavour packed family meal that will keep you coming back for more. Perfect for summer or winter nights, this pasta recipe is tantalising for sure!

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Ingredients: 12      Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 500 gms of spaghetti
  • One red onion, finely sliced
  • Six to seven pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • Two red chillies, chopped
  • Handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 teaspoons capers
  • Three carrots, peeled
  • Handful of toasted and chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
  • Five – six tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and cracked pepper to season

To start let me tell you how to make carrot ribbons. Trim the ends of a peeled carrot, use a vegetable peeler to carefully slice the vegetable lengthways into long, thin ribbons. Once your carrot ribbons are ready, drizzle them with one tablespoon of lemon juice to ensure they don’t change colour.

In a saucepan bring water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook it as per packet instructions. Make sure the pasta is al-dente (i.e. has a bit of a crunch).

To make the sauce – in another pan heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent. Now add chopped garlic and chillies and cook until you can smell the delicious garlic aromas.

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Now add the chopped parsley, capers and lemon juice. Cook this mixture for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti and toss it so it is coated with all that delicious flavour.

Season with salt, add the remaining extra virgin olive oil and finally add the carrot ribbons. Toss the spaghetti one more time before serving.

To serve garnish the dish with cracked pepper, grated parmesan cheese and toasted macadamia nuts for that little extra crunch.

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Zucchetti with Lemon Parsley Prawns and Pangratato

The taste of spaghetti the calories of zucchini…

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Have you ever thought how amazing it would be to be able to eat spaghetti without worrying about the calories? In today’s increasingly health conscious world the need for healthy food options is insatiable. Slowly but surely everyone is joining the ‘healthy eating’ bandwagon and LSD is no exception.

We all know eating carbs in moderation is ok, but why eat in moderation when you can choose healthier alternatives and eat in abundance. In ode to this today’s recipe is a twist on the Italian classic spaghetti with prawns.

For this recipe you will need to invest in a julienne peeler, they are readily available in super markets. I recently bought myself this gadget and my world has never been the same again. The little pocket rocket converts your everyday vegetables to pasta alternatives and with a little LSD inspiration you can makes these dishes taste just like or even better than real pasta (no offence to the Italian Nonnas).

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Ingredients:  12    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Two to three green zucchinis
  • One onion finely sliced
  • Three to four pods of garlic finely chopped
  • Two to three red chillies finely chopped
  • Two tablespoons of Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • One dozen prawns shelled and deveined
  • Stale baguette to make pangrattato
  • 100 gms of crumbled feta
  • One teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • Salt to season
  • Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lets start by making zucchetti which is nothing but peeled zucchini. Peel the zucchini lengthwise with your julienne peeler and keep aside.

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Next step is making the pangrattato – break up the stale baguette (by stale I mean old and crusty not fungus laden) into a food processor, with a pinch of dried oregano leaves and blitz it coarsely. In a pan add a teaspoon of olive oil followed by the coarsely pulsed bread crumbs. Keep tossing the pan until the crumbs aren’t golden brown, continuously tossing the pan will prevent the crumbs from burning. Pangrattato is ready place it aside.

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Time to make the zuchetti – Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, once the oil the hot add the sliced onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Now add garlic and red chilly, stir all the ingredients until you don’t start smelling that beautiful garlicky aroma.

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Add the peeled zucchini to the aromatic onion and garlic mix, then with a set of tongs toss the zuchetti to evenly coat it with all the flavours. Cook the zucchini for seven to eight minutes, remember you want it to be crunchy and not overcooked.

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While the zuchetti is cooking lets get the prawns ready. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the dried oregano leaves. Now add the prawns and toss them to evenly coat them with the oregano, then add the chopped parsley and lemon juice. Cook the prawns for about five minutes or until fully cooked.

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Now the zucchetti is cooked, add the crumbled feta and give it all a good mix. Time to assemble the dish. Divide the zucchetti among the serving plates, top it with the prawns and sprinkle the pangrattato on top. Tada! your lip smackingly delicious zuchetti with prawns is ready to be devoured and remember you can eat all that and more.

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Crumbed Prawns with a Lemon Balsamic dipping sauce

This summer don’t just throw a shrimp on the barbie…

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Spring has turned to summer and we are well and truly on our way to enjoy some sunshine and beach time in Australia. Importantly its time to throw some shrimp on the barbie or better yet fry it!

For most people summer time would mean more fruits and salads, which makes sense, but I love those delicious fried snacks to relish with my chilled cider. Perhaps it is the Indian in me and those warm summers of Bombay that have seasoned me to relish spicy curries and deep fried goodies in summer too.  

Add flavour to the heat at your next summer soiree with this cheesy, crispy, tangy and tasty dish.

Ingredients: 12          Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 6

For the Prawns

  • One dozen of king prawns (shelled and deveined)
  • One cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • One cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • One tablespoon of dried rosemary leaves
  • One cup of plain flour
  • One cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the dipping sauce

  • One cup of lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • One tablespoon of sugar
  • One teaspoon of soy sauce
  • Two tablespoon chopped coriander or continental parsley

In a bowl mix the flour and water with a pinch of salt and whisk it, ensuring there are no lumps. Your tempura batter is ready. In another bowl mix the rosemary leaves with the panko bread crumbs. 

Create an assembly line. First tempura batter, then grated cheese and lastly breadcrumbs. Dip the prawns in the tempura batter first, then into the cheese and at last crumb them with the rosemary panko breadcrumbs. 

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Before deep frying the prawns, make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and giving it a good stir. Transfer the dipping sauce into a serving bowl. The sauce should be sweet and sour, so depending on your flavour preference add extra lemon juice or sugar if necessary.

In a frying pan heat the oil and deep fry the prawns on both sides until crispy. This should not take more than two minutes on each side.

Crumbed prawns are now ready to devour! Remember this summer don’t just throw a shrimp on a barbie, instead – FRY IT!

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