If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
As it’s Easter this weekend, posting a chocolate themed bake seems suitable. A death by triple-chocolate 4 tier fudge cake. Or, a thousand little easter nests topped with an uncountable amount of candy covered eggs. These are the sorts of treats you expect to see flying around the blogging sphere at this time of year, particularly in the food blogging department.
However, although I do understand that amongst other things Easter is a lot about chocolate, hot cross buns and simnel cake. I wanted to celebrate the weekend with something a little bit different. For me, Easter marks a welcoming of Spring. Like the hammer in Billy Collin’s poem which free’s the snow globe inhabitants for there icy cave, the annual March holiday shatters the Winter days with a sense of promise for the Summer months to come. I wanted cook up something to celebrate this remarkable shift in energy and I feel the star ingredients in my Easter soup perfectly reflect the emergence of vibrant colours blooming in gardens and parks at this time of year. The contrast of the deeply red beetroot against the bright orange of the carrots is beautiful. A sure sign that spring has finally sprung.
Spiced Beetroot & Carrot Soup
4 fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
handful fresh coriander, chopped
Heat some oil in a deep casserole dish (I like to use rapeseed or coconut oil but olive oil is fine too). Fry the onions for 5 minutes on a fairly low heat. You don’t want to burn/colour them, just soften.
Add the chopped beetroot and carrots to the pan (the smaller you chop you veg, the quicker it is to soften). Fry for 2 minutes before adding the fresh ginger, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 2 minutes more.
Add the stock and bring the whole pot to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender (if using an Aga move the dish from the top plate to the simmering over to preserve heat).
Once the veg is cooked through and tender, take off the heat and allow to cool. Blend everything together until velvety and smooth. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Heat up to serve, add a swirl of creme fresshe and the coriander leaves.
I always think this is a great light lunch over the Easter weekend. Especially because it leaves room for all those other irresistible seasonal baked goods.
Saturday 26th March 2016