Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Just before Christmas I made this amazing soup. I quite liked it despite the 'spicy' part. Normally I'm not so in to spicy. But this soup had enough sweet (from the potato and carrot) to win me over. At the time I thought it was very good and would be even better on a cold, snowy evening with some homemade biscuits. It snowed quite a bit today so tomorrow I plan on following through and making both soup and biscuits for a cozy lunch. This soup is easy - peel your veggies, toss them in olive oil and spices (red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin and ginger) and roast in the oven. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender with some chicken broth and milk (the original recipe calls for half and half) whiz it all together and enjoy.

spicy roasted sweet potato and carrot soup with ginger from sisters running the kitchen

4 carrots, peeled & cubed
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger (I substituted 1/4 tsp dried)
1 1/4 cups Half-and-Half (I substituted an equal amount of 1% milk)
4 cups of chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Chop the sweet potatoes and carrots into equal sizes.  Combine sweet potatoes, carrots, olive oil, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, and ginger on a baking sheet. Roast in single layer for about 40 minutes.

Add roasted veggies to large pot.  Add chicken broth, half-and-half, [ and chopped fresh ginger, if you didn't use dried].  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  If you do not have an immersion blender, then use a regular blender or food processor.  Reheat the soup slowly and serve.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...

...sounds so inviting. However Jack Frost is not likely to be nipping at my nose this Christmas. Twill be a green Christmas around these parts. Which is really bumming out the kids. The adults, not so much. Kids don't have to worry about long commutes or rising heat costs. Where was I? Chestnuts roasting...right.

It might be my own reaction to a green Christmas, my recent obsession with roasting chestnuts. I bought a huge bag of chestnuts a couple of weeks ago and decided I was going to make chestnut soup. I found a recipe in The Essential New York Times Cookbook that sounded quick and easy, so I filed away 'make chestnut soup' on my to-do list for Christmas Eve day. As it turns out, I got to make chestnut soup the day before Christmas Eve. We all decided to take Friday off - from work, from school - from the hustle and bustle of the mall and the grocery store. And we all did whatever we wanted Friday. Wore our pajamas until 2:00 in the afternoon. Read every word of the newspaper. Made a huge mess of the kitchen making chestnut soup.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Caramel Corn

Our house smelled like a carnival on a Saturday night. Not the dodgy area of a carnival where the gas generators are belching out smoke to keep the Tilt-A-Whirl going and you find row upon row of Port-A-Pottys. And certainly not the part where you can hitch a ride on a pony or pet a goat. Our house smelled like the concession area of a carnival where you can enjoy fresh-squeezed lemonade, bright pink candy floss and sweet, sticky caramel corn.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Of Muffins, Hot Fudge Cake and Jingle Bells

Have I really never immortalized Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins from here on my blog? (Actually, yes I have. If you don't have it yet, buy the cookbook Hungry for Comfort. You won't be sorry.) I made a batch of these for breakfast this morning and they were divine. Later in the day I finally got to use my cover-worthy ramekins to make Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake. The entire time I was in the kitchen (all day) I played Christmas songs. Every once in a while Patrick would sneak in and say "Are you ready to sing a little jingle bells Mummy?". We are digging the new Michael Buble Christmas album. Maybe a little too much...