Celeriac, carrot and coriander soup

On consultation with the household, I was asked to make something new with the enormous celeriac that I had bought. I found a recipe in ‘The quick after-work vegetarian cookbook’ but then I tweaked it to make it more to my taste. The coriander definitely lifts the flavour. If you want to make a vegan version, you can leave out the sour cream, or substitute coconut yoghurt. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g celeriac (about half of a large celeriac) peeled and chopped
  • 350g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • around 800ml stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 200 – 300ml sour cream

METHOD:

  • Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil over a low heat. 
  • When the onion is soft, add the coriander, celeriac and carrots, stir and cook gently for another 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Add the stock and bring to a simmer, and cook for around 20 minutes. 
  • Blitz the soup with a soup blender, and add the sour cream, salt and pepper to taste. 

I’m sure there are more tweaks to be had, but this was a nice balance between easy, fast and tasty. 

Harissa, chicken, potatoes, carrots and beans

I’m struggling to keep up with garden produce, so I adapted this recipe that I found on-line, and experimented with different combinations. I’m sure you could swap around the vegetables to include what is in season, such as celeriac, bulb fennel, etcetera, anything that does well as a roast vegetable. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g jointed chicken
  • 300g potatoes, peeled and in small chunks
  • 300g carrots, peeled and in batons (whole if baby carrots)
  • 1 tbsp harissa (I used rose harissa)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 200g string beans, top and tail, cut in half (or an alternate vegetable, depending on availability and taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • roughly chopped mint and/or parsley
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest

METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 200C
  • Coat the chicken in the harissa, and put this in a roasting dish with the potatoes, carrots, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the white wine. 
  • Roast the chicken mixture for 30 minutes. Add the beans, and cook for another 20 minutes
  • Mix in the lemon zest and garnish with the roughly chopped herbs. 

 

Scallops with spring onion, ginger, and carrots

This is a West Indian recipe, adapted from ‘Original Flava‘  to suit my taste and the ingredients in the garden. It is very easy, and can be cooked on a barbeque, but it is terribly midgy just now, so we skipped that bit. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g scallops, cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 large spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet paste (very spicy, use less if you wish)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 250g carrots, grated
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

METHOD:

  • Put all of the ingredients into a container with a lid, and put the container in the fridge for at least four hours
  • Take a roll of tin foil, and tear off two pieces large enough to make a parcel with half of the mixture each. Spread the mixture onto the tin foil, and fold it over, crimping the edges to make the parcels air tight. Put the parcels onto a baking sheet.
  • Heat the oven to 180C, and put the parcels into the oven, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the contents are hot. 
  • Serve with wedges of lime or lemon. 

I’m sure you could use other vegetables as well, such as celeriac, or bulb fennel. 

 

Spicy carrot and red lentil soup

This soup is quite hot and spicy, but you can cut down on the chilli if you wish. The main flavours come from the use of Tunisian Tabil spice mix and from cumin seed. I got the spices from Seasoned Pioneers. There are a few variations that could be used. It could be vegan, you could add a seaweed stock instead of vegetable stock. If you stir in yoghurt, then it is still vegetarian, but not vegan. It is also good with a chicken stock. It also uses a lot of carrots, which is just as well, because I have grown very many. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 600g carrots, grated
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a large thumb-sized nodule of ginger, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp tabil spice blend
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 -3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD:

  • Use a large saucepan. Heat the olive oil and cook the onions over a low to medium heat, stirring, until the onions start to turn translucent, around five minutes. 
  • Add the ginger, garlic and spices, stir together and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. 
  • Add the carrots and lentils, mix in well, and then add a litre of stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for around seven minutes
  • Use a soup wand or blender to blitz the soup until it is smooth. 

We served this with bread and yoghurt. 

Carrots, goat’s cheese, thyme, sundried tomatoes and pasta

I started with this recipe from Rose Elliot’s ‘Pasta Pasta’, aiming to work out the proportions per person, allowing me to cook for one person or six. I am planning on trying a squeeze of lemon juice next time, or some pine nuts. Not sure.

INGREDIENTS per person:

  • 100g farfalle pasta
  • 50g grated carrot
  • 50g chopped sundried tomatoes
  • a sprig of thyme
  • 50g grated hard goat’s cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • A drizzle of good olive oil

METHOD:

  • Put on a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Prepare the carrots, tomatoes and cheese while the water heats
  • Boil the pasta for around 8 minutes. For the last minute of cooking, add the grated carrot. Stir and drain, and return to the pan
  • Add the olive oil, thyme, grated cheese and sundried tomatoes, season and stir to mix. 

 

Quick and easy carrot and leek soup

I’ve got bags of carrots in the freezer, and I’m experimenting again. I also made a very peculiar soup with pickled beetroot and sour cream that I don’t think I will try again. This was so quick and easy, and there are at least six servings in there. It is better made with a chicken stock. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 30g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped – do not include any coarse leaves
  • around 500g carrots, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 litre + of chicken stock or similar
  • around 150ml plain yoghurt, unsweetened
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives

METHOD:

  • Gently fry the onion and leek in the butter. Cover the pan and let them sweat for around 3 minutes
  • Add a good pinch of salt and the grated carrots, stir together, and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the hot stock, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes
  • When the vegetables are tender and cooked through, use a soup wand to blend the soup, and to blend in the yoghurt. 
  • Stir through the chopped chives, and add salt and pepper as desired. 

Serve with some good rye bread, or other wholesome brown bread. 

Carrots with dill and hot green chillies

I must have first tried this recipe in the 1980s, it is hand-written in an old jotter that I used to copy out some recipes clipped from newspapers. I remember collecting recipes from the Sunday Times; they ran a series by Madhur Jaffrey about regional recipes around the Indian subcontinent. 

I have some very large carrots still to harvest this year. I grew a yellow variety that has a very firm flesh ideal for adding to stews, and for this dish. There’ll be more carrot-based dishes to come. Most spices are available in local shops. I bought some of them from Seasoned Pioneers, who retail spices online. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cm ginger root (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 hot green chillies
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 20g chopped dill leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD:

  • Peel and slice the carrots, peel and finely chop the ginger
  • Heat the oil in a karhai or wok over a medium heat. When it is hot, add in sequence the cumin seeds, asafoetida, ginger and whole chillies, stirring between each addition. 
  • As the ginger begins to brown, add the sliced carrots, coriander and turmeric. Stir and fry for a couple of minutes
  • Add the dill and salt, turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for another couple of minutes, until the carrots are cooked. 
  • Remove the carrots from the oil and drain away most of the oil. 

This is delicious as a side dish, with rice and a range of other curries. Last night I was just on my own so I had it with a little bit of nan and yoghurt.

Potato and carrot curry

We have lots of delicious potatoes, so when my daughter came over, we cooked this curry. It uses coconut milk along with spices to make a fragrant curry. We served this with a salad of grated beetroot, flavoured with toasted cumin, and dressed with lemon juice and salt. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil, or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow split peas
  • 2 whole dried birds-eye chillies
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes, or a couple of medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • a small pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 400g potatoes (we used charlotte) and 100g carrots (we used yellow carrots) – cut into 2cm large chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander leaves

METHOD:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat up the oil and then add the mustard seeds, yellow split peas and chillies. After a minute or so, they’ll start popping. Add the onions and basil leaves as soon as this happens. Turn the heat down a bit and cook until the onion has softened. 
  • Add the coriander, cayenne, tomatoes and garam masala, and stir to mix. Add the potatoes and carrots along with around 250ml water and the salt, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15+ minutes
  • When the potatoes are cooked, add the coconut milk and fresh coriander leaves, and heat through, stirring. 
  • Serve with other dishes, for example a salad, or dal, or a kale dish. 

Cabbage, ginger, carrot, spring onions

There are so many fresh vegetables in the garden it is hard to keep up. Tonight I made a light stir-fry of home grown vegetables. It is good hot or cold. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small cabbage, cored, quartered, and sliced into ribbons around 1.5 cm wide. 
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut on the slant and each slice cut into thin strips
  • 3 spring onions, cut into 3 cm lengths, which are then cut lengthways into thin strips
  • 3 tbsp light vegetable oil
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a wok, and then add the ginger, stir it about and then add all of the vegetables. Stir them round and cook for 3 minutes. 
  • Add the sherry, cover and cook for another 3 minutes
  • For the last minute, uncover and boil of some of the liquid before serving. Remove the slices of ginger as well. 

Super tasty as part of a larger meal. 

 

Beetroot and carrot salad

This year has been a good year for me growing beetroot and carrots, so I made this salad. I think you could also add other root vegetables, for example celeriac. I also thought about adding pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Around 600g of root vegetables, for example carrots and beetroot
  • 1 red onion or 2 shallots
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • mixture of chopped herbs – parsley, mint, coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD:

  • Peel and grate the vegetables on a coarse setting, and mix in a bowl
  • Finely chop the onion, and mix them with the grated vegetables
  • Toast the cumin seeds for about a minute and add to the vegetables
  • Chop the herbs and add them to the vegetables
  • Mix the salt, olive oil, lemon juice and pour over the vegetables. Let the mixture sit for around half an hour before serving. 

This is good with a sharp cheese.