Tag Archives: Carrot

Kooky Mess

Kooky Mess

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kooky Mess

 

 

 

 

 

 

At times, there are recipes that I concoct which defy categorisation or even label and this is a very good example.

The day I was making it, I was asked by three people what I was having for dinner and I was at a total loss for words. I mean, how do you explain a bowl of mixed mash, which briefly sums up this kooky mess?!

To quote Francois Mauriac, “To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.” And that is exactly how I feel about today’s recipe.

a bowl of mashed vegetables may not be to everyone’s taste but I am totally in love with this utterly comforting mess!

Ingredients

1 Medium sweet potato

1 Cup shredded cabbage

1 Large carrot

1 Large onion

1-2 Tablespoons cheddar cheese, crumbled

1 Teaspoons olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash, boil, peel and mash the sweet potato.
  2. Wash, scrape and finely grate the carrot.
  3. Peel, wash and finely slice the onion.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  5. When hot, lower the heat and throw in the sliced onions along with salt to taste.
  6. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Uncover and add the shredded cabbage and grated carrot.
  8. Once again, cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
  9. Uncover and add the mashed sweet potato, freshly ground black pepper and cheese.
  10. Mix well and pat the mixture down.
  11. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  12. Serve hot or warm with some hot sauce.

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Autumnal Spinach & Carrot Soup, The Indian Way

Autumnal Spinach & Carrot Soup, The Indian Way

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autumnal Spinach & Carrot Soup, The Indian Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My blogger friend Teagan of the Three Ingredients Serial fame invites her readers to send in three ingredients for each episode of an ongoing mystery story which she posts in installments.

Teagan uses the ingredients sent in by her avid readers to decide how to move the story forward on ‘per episode’ basis. Her abundant creativity and the clever way she makes use of these ingredients means that each episode takes us on a twisting, turning and teasing ride.

Today’s soup recipe is an ode to Teagan’s three ingredients serial.

I was planning on making a very simple spinach and carrot soup. Some tart yoghurt, ginger garlic paste and paste of minced chillies and ginger were beckoning me from the refrigerator. So, I decided to use these three ingredients (which I would otherwise not consider using in a soup) to create an Indianised spinach and carrot soup.

Mighty pleased to say that the soup turned out to be absolutely superb. So much so that there are a couple of other recipes patiently waiting their turn to be posted but this one’s jumped the queue!

a warming, spunky soup which makes you forget how healthy it actually is

Ingredients

250 Grams spinach

1 Medium size carrot

1 Medium size onion

1 Head of garlic

1 Teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste

1 Tablespoon tart/tangy/sour yoghurt

1-2 Teaspoons oil

1 Cup water

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Thoroughly wash the spinach.
  2. Wash, scrape and roughly chop the carrot.
  3. Boil the spinach and carrot in one cup of water and a pinch of salt.
  4. Once cooked, let the vegetables cool down completely.
  5. Blend the vegetables till you get a puree like consistency. It is okay if a few carrot pieces remain whole.
  6. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  7. Peel and chop the garlic.
  8. Heat the oil in a pot.
  9. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat and throw in the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt.
  10. Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Uncover and add the pastes of ginger-garlic and chilli-ginger.
  12. Add the yoghurt.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Add the pureed spinach and carrot.
  15. Check for soup like consistency. Add more water at this stage if you find it too thick.
  16. Check for salt and add a bit more if you feel it lacking.
  17. Bring to a rolling boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  18. Enjoy hot with some bread stick or crusty loaf.

Carrot & Coconut Chutney

Carrot & Coconut Chutney

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Carrot & Coconut Chutney

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another one of my “anything goes” recipe for a topnotch chutney which you can enjoy on toast, as a sandwich filler, on some crusty bread or with idlis and dosas.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, cooked carrots (like cooked tomatoes) are more nutritious compared to raw ones so I am always looking for ways to sneak them into whatever I am cooking.

Wanted to make chutney to go with some idlis and I had some carrot and coconut calling out for me from the refrigerator so I concocted this recipe. The aroma wafting from the kitchen while I was “cooking” the chutney indicated that I was on the right track.

blend together the natural sweetness of carrots and onions, spiciness of bird’s eye chillies and tartness of tamarind for a naturally sweet, hot and sour chutney

Ingredients

1 Large carrot

1 Onion

1-2 Tablespoons grated coconut

1-2 Teaspoons mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

10-12 Curry leaves

1 Tablespoon dalia dal

1 Tablespoon urad dal

1/2 Teaspoon turmeric

4-5 Bird’s eye chilli

A small piece of tamarind

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Scrape, wash and grate the carrot.
  2. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  3. Wash and dry the curry leaves.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  5. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat and throw in the mustard seeds.
  6. As soon as they start spluttering, add the asafoetida followed by curry leaves.
  7. Stir around for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the dalia dal and urad dal.
  9. Stir for a couple of minutes till the dals turn a couple of shades darker.
  10. Add the onion, turmeric, bird’s eye chilli and salt to taste.
  11. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5-6 minutes.
  12. Uncover and add the grated carrot, coconut, tamarind and about half cup water.
  13. Mix, cover and cook for about 8 minutes.
  14. Let the mixture cool down completely before blending.
  15. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Summer Salad of Mixed Sprouts & Vegetables

Summer Salad of Mixed Sprouts & Vegetables

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Summer Salad of Mixed Sprouts & Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another salad that can be put together in a jiffy.  The beauty of this recipe lies in its flexibility.

The salad can be enjoyed warm or cold; you can use whichever vegetables you have on hand and you can also substitute canned beans for mixed sprouts.

It is a main meal salad which doesn’t need any accompaniment (except, perhaps, a glass of wine!).

 simple yet delicious cool salad for a warm summer evening

Ingredients

1/2 Cup mixed sprouts OR canned/boiled beans of your choice

50 Grams sweetcorn kernel

100 Grams french beans

1 Large, chunky, carrot

2 White onion

1 Yellow or green courgette

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon strong mustard

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

Juice of one lime or lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and thinly slice the onion in half moon shape. Put it in a salad bowl. If you are using canned/boiled beans, you can add them to the onion at this stage. Cover and set aside.
  2. Top and tail the french beans and wash them.
  3. Wash the sweetcorn kernel.
  4. Wash and slice the courgette in chunks.
  5. Wash and slice the carrot in chunks.
  6. Place the french beans, sweetcorn, courgette and carrot in a steamer basket.
  7. Add mixed sprouts if using.
  8. Steam the sprouts and vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes till they become tender but retain a bite.
  9. While the steamer is working away, prepare the salad dressing.
  10. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Check for taste and add a bit more of whatever you fancy.
  11. Once the vegetables and sprouts are cooked, add them to the bowl in which the onions are sitting.
  12. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well.
  13. You can either enjoy the salad while it is still warm or refrigerate till you are ready to eat.

Fat Free Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatima's Pumpkin SoupI have to thank my friend Fatima for today’s soup recipe. She sent me the cutest soup photograph ever (right) and wrote, “The pumpkins that don’t go to the Halloween ball end up in my plate as soup! This is a great dinner on a cold winter’s night.  Its healthy too”.

Just the inspiration I needed, specially since I have not made soup for a while.

Boiled Pumpkin, Carrot & Lentil for Pumpkin SoupI have followed Fatima’s recipe except for a couple of digressions.

I didn’t have the split red lentils (masoor dal) which she used so added whole lentils instead.

Fatima also included spring onion which I totally forgot about.

In case you are wondering about the difference in colour between the two soups, I think it may be down to the fact that I didn’t peel my pumpkin.

The soup tastes quite meaty (apologies to my vegetarian readers) and full-bodied (for wont of a better term).

Fatima is Goan and she suggests that you can “pour some olive oil over if you like – that’s the Portuguese style and adds to the taste.” This is what I did (you can see my inartistic attempt at drizzling some of the oil in the photo on the top!) and it is, indeed, quite nice. But of course, if you would like a fat free soup, skip this step and it will taste just as good.

Fatima’s email has provided me with just the impetus I needed to resume my souping exercise so expect to see a couple more soup recipes in the forthcoming posts :-).

Ingredients

250 Grams pumpkin

1 Large carrot

2 Tablespoons red lentils

Salt to taste

Olive oil to drizzle on top (optional)

Method

  1. Peel, wash and cube the pumpkin.
  2. Wash and chop the carrot.
  3. Wash the lentil.
  4. Put the above three ingredients in a soup pot or equivalent and add two cups of water.
  5. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  6. Cover and put on high heat. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes till the vegetables and lentil are soft and mushy.
  7. Now take the pot off the heat and let it cool down completely.
  8. Strain the vegetables and lentil, reserving the cooking liquor.
  9. Puree the strained vegetables and lentil and add this puree back to the cooking liquor.
  10. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  11. Pour the soup into a bowl, drizzle some olive oil (if using) and serve hot.

 

Fat Free Carrot & Celery Soup

Fat Free Carrot and Celery Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Dr. Gabe Mirkin, “Many people think that all fresh fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients than cooked ones, but a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that cooked, pureed carrots have higher levels of antioxidants than fresh carrots. Cooking carrots in the presence of a small amount of fat increases the amount of two antioxidants called beta carotene and phenolic acid. Cooking breaks the plant cells open to increase the absorption of these antioxidants and other beneficial plant chemicals. Adding fat increases absorption of fat soluble chemicals.”

Similarly, tomatoes are also more nutritious cooked than raw.

So this soup may look a bit “meh” but, trust me, in terms of taste it definitely delivers!

a combination of carrots and celery make for a fragrant and hearty soup

I had mine with some sweet potato crouton (you can see one floating in the photo above).

Ingredients

2 Carrots

4-5 Stick celery

Stock cube

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and roughly chop the carrots and celery.
  2. If your celery has leaves, you can use those too.
  3. Put the chopped vegetables in a largish saucepan along with a pinch of salt, stock cube and 2 cups of water.
  4. Bring to boil, cover and let it cook for about 7 to 8 minutes till vegetables are cooked.
  5. Drain the vegetables retaining the cooking liquor.
  6. Once the vegetables have cooled down, puree them and place them back in their liquor.
  7. Heat gently till bubbles appear on the surface.
  8. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. I used fish stock cube for today’s soup recipe. You can use chicken or vegetable if you like or even omit the stock  cube altogether.

The celery we get is the skinny type with plenty of leaves which I used for the soup.

Carrot and Celery for Fat Free Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot & Pea Soup

Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot and Pea Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the Christmas indulgence, last night I fancied a simple soup dinner.

say hello to another fat free recipe from my kooky imagination

Boiled Red Cabbage and Carrots for Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot and Pea SoupThe original plan was to make a soup based solely around red cabbage, a vegetable I want to eat more of. However, I was cooking for two and could only manage to get a small head of the cabbage so decided to add carrots and peas, which are currently in season.

I have read somewhere that in order to retain its original colour, you should add vinegar or lemon juice when cooking red cabbage. I didn’t do this and so it turned blue as you can see in the photo on the right.

Since I wanted to avoid oil or butter, I decided to follow the sweating-the-onions-in-salt method I had adopted in my Fat Free Four ‘C’s Soup. This time round, the only difference was that I let the onions cook for longer till they turned brown.

The onions and peas provide a nice contrasting texture in each spoonful of this creamy soup. Surprisingly, it is very filling.

The following provides two hearty servings.

Ingredients

1 Head small red cabbage

250 Grams Carrots

1 Cup shelled peas

3 – 4 Onions

Vegetable or chicken stock cube

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to prepare the onions. Peel, wash and finely slice them, add a teaspoon of salt, cover and set aside for 4-5 hours. By the end of this time, the salt and moisture from onions would have softened them a bit
  2. When you are ready to make the soup, wash and roughly cut the cabbage retaining the core.
  3. Wash and roughly chop the carrots.
  4. Put the cabbage and carrots in a pot along with two cups of water, stock cube and a pinch of salt.
  5. Bring to boil, cover, lower heat and let this simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the vegetables retaining the liquor.
  7. Once the vegetables cool down, puree them in a blender or a food processor.
  8. Now, place the onions along with any moisture in a soup pot or equivalent.
  9. Cover and place this cookware on a very low heat and let the onions sweat in their own moisture.
  10. Let the onions cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. I used a non-stick soup pot so didn’t have to keep checking. Depending on the sort of base of your pot, you may have to keep stirring in between.
  11. Once the onions have browned a bit, wash and add the shelled peas and one cup of water.
  12. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  13. Open the lid and add the pureed vegetable and liquor. Check for thickness, add more water if necessary.
  14. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
  15. Stir, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  16. Serve hot.

This is what my onions looked liked once they were cooked without any oil or butter.

Browning the Onions Without Oil for Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot and Pea Soup

Fat Free Four ‘C’s Soup

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, some good news for my kooky readers. Since embarking on the alternate-day-soup regime inspired by my friend Fatima’s soup recipe 12 days back, I have lost 1.5 kgs (3.3 lbs).

Before that, I had hit a frustrating weight loss plateau and was finding it really difficult to lose those last few kilos. So, imagine my pleasant surprise when the weighing scale started moving in the right direction once again!

The best part is that I am really enjoying experimenting with different soup recipes and actually look forward to my soup dinners. I never imagined that they could be so much fun. Soups and broths are my new best friends and likely to become long term companions.

If you are looking to shift a few pounds, you may like to join me in my alternate day soup diet. Now may not be the right time with all the festive partying (although I am doing it in reverse order, lose weight now in anticipation of Christmas and New Year indulgences). But maybe after the New Year, once the celebrations are over?! (Note: I am not a doctor; always seek advice from a medical professional before attempting to lose weight.)

Coming to today’s recipe, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots and Chickpeas form the team of four ‘C’s to provide a totally yummylicious soupy experience.

don’t go by looks – what this soup lacks in appearance, it more than makes up in terms of  taste and full bodied flavour

This cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup (what a mouthful!) does require a bit of preparation beforehand in terms of soaking the chickpeas and “moisturising” the onions. I wanted to add onions for texture and flavour but didn’t want to use any oil so I used salt to moisturise them for a few hours and let them sweat in their own juices. Was pleasantly surprised to see how meltingly soft they turned.

Allspice powder provides the hint of spice and fragrance needed to combat the smell of onions, cabbage and cauliflower.

Ingredients

2-3 Tablespoons dry chickpeas*

2 Cups water

2 Onions

Half head of small cabbage

1 small cauliflower

2 Carrots

A generous pinch of powdered allspice*

One vegetable stock cube

Freshly pounded blackpepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and soak chickpeas about 8 to 10 hours before you want to make the soup.*
  2. Wash and slice the onions. Add some salt, mix, cover and set aside for 3 to 4 hours before you want to make the soup.
  3. Boil the cabbage and cauliflower, puree and set aside. If you have any water remaining after boiling the vegetables, keep it.
  4. When you are ready to make the soup, transfer the onions and any moisture clinging to them into a soup pot (or equivalent).
  5. Now, place the pot on a burner and turn on the heat to low.
  6. Cover and let the onions cook in their own juices for about 10 minutes till they become soft.
  7. While the onions are cooking, wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
  8. Uncover the soup pot and add water (or water from boiled cabbage and cauliflower) along with the chickpeas, stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns. Turn the heat to high.
  9. Once the water starts boiling, add the grated carrots, cover and let this simmer for about 45 minutes till the chickpeas are cooked.
  10. Lastly, add the pureed cauliflower and cabbage. Check for salt and water and add more if either seem insufficient.
  11. Bring to boil and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. You can use canned chickpea if you prefer in which case reduce the cooking time from 45 minutes to about 10 minutes. However, if you have time, I would strongly recommend that you go down the soaking and boiling route. Chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock and allspice are more flavoursome.
  2. If, like me, you forget to soak the chickpeas 8 hours before hand, use this time saving method to speed up the soaking process (it’s what I did this time).
  3. If you don’t have allspice powder, no problem. Use some grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder instead.

Here’s step-by-step pictorial of how I cooked this cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup.

Step 1: Onions moisturised with salt

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 1 Onions moisturised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Onions sweating in own moisture over stove on low heat

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 2 Onions sweating in own moisture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Add chickpeas and water along with stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 3 Add chickpeas and water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Add carrots

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 4 Add carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5: Let chickpeas cook

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 5 Let chickpeas cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Add pureed cabbage and cauliflower

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 6 Add cabbage cauliflower puree

Flavourful Broth of Chicken, Vegetables & Noodles

Flavourful Broth of Chicken, Noodles and Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As temperatures continue to dip, a comforting bowl of hot soup is enough to warm the cockles of your heart.

I am sure everybody has their own version of the classic chicken noodle soup. Many require you to cook dry noodles in the chicken stock.

My version is a tad different. While making Green Noodles, I had cooked extra noodles specially to create this recipe. While serving, I placed the cooked noodles in a soup bowl over which I ladled the hot broth of chicken and vegetables. The end result is a reassuring and satisfying soup full of flavour and fragrance.

who knew that a ménage à trois could be so congenial

Of course, there is no right or wrong way of doing this. You can cook dry noodles in the broth along with the vegetables if you prefer. In fact, this will probably give them extra flavour.

So let’s warm up with today’s flavourful broth of chicken and vegetables over some cooked noodles.

Ingredients

One cup cooked noodles*

300 Grams chicken parts on the bone

3 Cups water

4-5 Stalks celery (including leaves, if available)

2 Carrots

150 Grams mushrooms

1/2 Packed cup fresh parsley

1-2 Stalks lemongrass (Optional)

2 Onions

2 Bayleaves

One tablespoon oil

A generous pinch of freshly pounded peppercorns

Salt to Taste

Method

  1. First, we need to cook the chicken and make the stock.
  2. Peel and wash one onion. Halve it
  3. Peel and wash 2 stalks of celery.
  4. Wash the lemongrass.
  5. In a pan, place the chicken and the water along with the onion, celery, lemongrass, bay leaves and salt.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for one hour.
  7. Place a strainer over a large pot. At the end of the hour, pour the contents of the pan into the strainer. The large pot under it will collect the chicken stock.
  8. When cool to handle, discard the vegetables and bay leaves.
  9. Take the chicken pieces and separate the flesh from the bones.
  10. Throw away the bones.
  11. Now, peel, wash and chop the second onion.
  12. Dice the remaining celery.
  13. Wash and chop the parsley.
  14. Wash and chop the carrots.
  15. Wash (or wipe) and halve the mushrooms.
  16. Heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent).
  17. Add the chopped onion and celery. Add some salt to taste.
  18. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  19. Add the chicken stock. At this stage, check the quantity of the liquid. It should be enough. If not, you can add some water.
  20. Bring to boil and add the carrots and mushroom along with chopped parsley and pounded black pepper.
  21. Lower the heat and cook for 8 minutes.
  22. After this time, add the cooked chicken pieces, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  23. Place noodles in a bowl and pour the hot broth over them.
  24. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. If you don’t have boiled noodles ready, you can add dry noodles along with the chicken and cook according to the time on the packet.
  2. Lemongrass is optional. We have some growing in our kitchen window so I decided to throw it in for the stock.

This is what my chicken stock looked like once it was cooked and strained.

Making Chicken Stock for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth  Home Made Chicken Stock for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictorial of the simple steps involved in cooking this broth.

Ingredients for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth     Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 1 Cook Onions and Celery  Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 2 Add the Chicken StockChicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 3 Add the VegetablesChicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 4 Add the Cooked Chicken

Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 5 Pour in a Soup Bowl Over Cooked Noodles

Fat Free Beetroot, Carrot and Tomato Soup

Fat Free Beetroot, Carrot and Tomato Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beauty of today’s soup recipe is that it is creamy and filling without the addition of any cream or butter.

A soul satisfying, ruby red soup to keep you warm on a cold winter’s day.

sometimes, simple is more than ample, no?!

I had it with sweet potato croutons. A match made in heaven!

Ingredients

2 Carrots

2 Tomatoes

2 Beetroot

One cup of water plus more if required

Freshly pounded black peppercorn

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and chop the beetroot, carrot and tomato.
  2. Boil them in one cup of water. I boiled my vegetables in a pressure cooker; you can cook them in a pan if you prefer.
  3. Once cooked and completely cooled, put them in a blender to get a smooth puree.
  4. Transfer to a soup pot (or equivalent) along with the cooking liquid. Add more water if necessary. Add black pepper powdered and salt to taste.
  5. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve hot with some croutons.

Note:

  1. To preserve as many nutrients as possible, I don’t peel carrots or beetroot. In terms of taste, there is no difference. You can peel your vegetables if you like.

You will find my recipe for sweet potato crouton here.

Vegetables waiting to be cooked.

Vegetables for Beetroot, Carrot and Tomato Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A puree of beetroot, carrot and tomato for the soup.

Pureed Beetroot, Carrot and Tomato for Soup