Cheap and Cheerful Carrot Soup

carrot soupThis was another cheap and cheerful lunch!  We had a big bag of carrots reduced from the supermarket and didn’t know what to do with them so made this quick and easy soup for lunch.

1 onion (chopped)
1 crushed clove of garlic
500g of chopped carrots
1 litre of vegetable stock
Black pepper to taste

  • Chop an onion and gently fry in some butter or olive oil with a crushed clove of garlic until soft.
  • Add 500g of chopped carrots and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the carrots are tender (about 15 – 20 mins).
  • Remove from heat and season with pepper.
  • Liquidise in a blender or food processor.
  • Serve into bowls and swirl in some cream or yogurt and/or sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander
  • Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Variations

  • You can use any combination of sweet-tasting vegetables instead of just carrots (parsnips, butternut squash, red or yellow peppers).
  • To make a thicker soup, add a chopped potato before simmering.
  • Carrot & Coriander soup- Follow the above recipe, but add 1tsp ground coriander to the pan with the onions. Add a good handful of chopped fresh corriander to the soup after blending. Stir in and serve.

Banana Muffins

This is a perfect recipe for using up those Bananas going black in the fruit bowl. We made some today as it was raining again and the girls were getting bored!  Really yummy straight out of the oven.  They are even better with the chocolate chips in them!

Makes 12 standard-size or 11 large muffins

10 oz (280 g) plain flour*
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt
8-10 fl oz (240-290 ml) ripe banana purée (about 3 medium bananas)
4 oz (110 g) fine white granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten with a fork
3 fl oz (90 ml) milk or water
3 fl oz (90 ml) vegetable oil
2-3 oz (60-85 g) walnuts or plain chocolate chips (optional)

Method

1. Prepare muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375-400°F (190-200°C) for a conventional oven, Gas Mark 5-6.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. (Add chocolate if using.)
3. In another bowl, mash bananas thoroughly with a potato masher until puréed. Stir in sugar, beaten egg, milk/water and oil. (Add walnuts if using.)
4. Pour all of wet mixture into dry. Stir lightly just until evenly combined and no dry flour is visible. Batter should have a fairly thick dropping consistency.
5. Spoon into tins. Bake about 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned and spring back when pressed gently. Enjoy!

* With self-raising flour, omit baking powder; do not alter bicarbonate of soda.

Note for North American users: 10 oz (280 g) plain flour = 2¼ cups British plain flour. When using “all-purpose flour”, substitute 1¾ cups. Adjust liquid if necessary. 4 oz sugar = ½ cup sugar.