Monday, February 17, 2014

Simple Roasted Carrot Soup

There are some days when you just need something simple and delicious. 

No "complex flavors". No needing polysyllabic adjectives to describe the taste. 

This soup has 4 ingredients, not counting salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

So if you're a novice cook, or just want to take a break from all that fancy stuff - this is your soup. 

Or if you're a busy mom and have zero time to come up with dinner and are looking to save a few bucks since someone seems to be going through diapers faster than you're going through Baileys.


Back to the soup!

Carrots and onion, on a sheet pan. 

Drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. 

Roast for an hour and 15 minutes. In a large pot, dump all your roasted veg into the boiling vegetable broth. 

Use a stick blender to blitz until you like the consistency. If you want a creamier soup, add cream (or almonds if you're vegan) and blitz until smooth. 

Serve with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. And little bread soldiers. Cause while you didn't have time to clean the bathrooms, you did manage to find time to make bread.... Oy. Motherhood.

Simple Roasted Carrot Soup

1 2lb bag of baby carrots
1/2 red onion, quartered
1 tsp fresh rosemary
olive oil
vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water (4-8 c)
cream or almonds if desired
bread for serving

Preheat oven to 375. On a large sheet tray, lay out carrots and onion quarters. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper - use plenty. Sprinkle on rosemary. Roast for an hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven. 

In a large saucepan, bring 4 c. of your chosen liquid (vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water) to a boil. Add in the contents of the roasting pan. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree. Or gently transfer to a blender and pulse until smooth. 

Taste the soup. Add more salt and pepper if needed. If you want it creamier, add cream or almonds and blitz again. 

Serve with a few drops of olive oil and more salt and pepper. And some bread. Delicious!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Orange Marmalade Jelly

*coooooough* *hack* *SNEEZE* 

It's been a mighty sick few weeks around here. First, The Bean caught something at day care. She was sick for 2 and half weeks. Then she gave it to me. I am still sick and have passed it on to Mr. S. We're quite a sight now, let me assure you. The cough drop wrappers are almost visible from the windows. 

But before then - before the plague came upon us - we made marmalade. 

Well. It was supposed to be marmalade. Having never made marmalade before, we let it go a hair to long and it became jelly. Not that I'm complaining. The thicker it is, the higher you can pile it. 

Perhaps I should crack open a jar right now and pile it high on a piece of toast. Oranges are supposed to help cure colds, right?

And why did we make marmalade? 

Well, our tree got ripe!

Mr. S is taken ladies. This orange picker belongs to moi. *Miss Piggy hair toss*

Once we got the beautiful oranges (and a few lemons too),

There was slicing to be done. Use a mandolin, with a safety glove, and the work goes much faster. 

Into the pot they go, with a bit of water, for a 5 minute simmer. Then they sit overnight. That's when the magic elves make merry in the jam pot. 

The next day, back up to a boil and add a ton of sugar. Well, just cup for cup of your orange mixture. Still a lot of sugar. 

After that, it boils again. Just to the point where it's almost jelly. Remove from the heat quickly.

Pour into cleaned and boiled glass jam jars. 

Secure the lids to finger-tip tight and then process (aka, put in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes).

They are now ready to sit on the shelves of your friends and family until devoured. Refrigerate after opening, of course. 

Orange Marmalade Jelly
From the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving

5 medium-large oranges
2 lemons
1 1/2 qts water
white sugar (buy a big bag)
12 glass jelly jars with lids

Wash the oranges and lemons. Using a mandolin, slice the oranges and lemons into thin slices, removing seeds as you go. Place fruit into a large stew pot and add 1 1/2 quarts of water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, and let sit overnight. The next day, bring to a boil and cook until peel is tender. Measure out the fruit/liquid. Add 1 cup of sugar for every cup of fruit stuff. All goes back in the pot and gets well stirred. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir constantly. Cook until almost at the gelling point (gelling point is 8 degrees above boiling, so you're looking for 6 degrees) or to the gelling point if you like a more jelly-like spread. Remove from heat and ladle into hot, just boiled jars. Screw lids on to finger tight and then process in boiling water for 10 minutes to secure the lids. 

Gratuitous Bean Photo!