It was the last day of the kids’ term today, before they break up for the holidays. And yes, we are all looking forward to it. No, no grand designs, no elaborate plans, but just the thought of a break from the usual routine is such a nice feeling.
The other day, I received a box of mixed organic fruit and vegetables from Abel and Cole, the organic food suppliers. It included, among others, some gorgeous leeks, carrots and desiree potatoes. I used the leeks and potatoes to make a thick, creamy and spicy soup. The carrots made their way into some savoury muffins to accompany the soup. We had it last night, and after, what I thought , was a resounding success (I think all of us had a bit more than we should), am noting down the recipe for both.
For the potato and leek soup-
4 desiree potatoes (or other similar textured potatoes), peeled and roughly chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
7-8 cloves of garlic, halved
2 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies(more or less)
1 tsp paprika
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp roasted and ground cumin
2 bay leaves
5 C of stock
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a deep pan. Except the stock, add the rest of the ingredients, in the order listed above.
- Stir well. Cover and cook over low heat for about 12-13 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
- Add the stock, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or till the potatoes are soft, but not mushy.
- Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves.
- Puree in batches, in a food processor, and return to a pan over heat.
- Check the seasoning and stir till heated through.
- Serve hot with croutons, toast, or with the following muffins and garnish with some crushed red chillies and a swirl of cream(optional)
For the savoury muffins-
3C of whole wheat flour(atta)
3 and 1/2 tsp of baking powder
3 tblsp of Italian seasoning
2 level tblsp of grated cheddar cheese
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
2 small carrots, grated
1 tsp crushed red chillies
2 tblsp sundried tomato paste
2 and 1/2 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
a handful of raisins
1 and 1/2 c of plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 C of water
a handful of sesame seeds
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C. Grease the moulds of a muffin tray.
- In a bowl, except the yogurt mixture and the sesame seeds, add all the rest of the ingredients. Rub the ingredients together with your fingertips till everything is mixed together very well.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the yogurt mixture.
- Fold in, preferably with a rubber spatula or with the fingertips till everything just comes together. Do not overmix.
- Fill the muffin moulds with tblspns of the mixture and sprinkle a little of the sesame seeds over each ( I got 17 muffins).
- Place the tray in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for about 24-25 minutes or till golden.
- Cool the muffins in the tray for a couple of minutes. Run the back of a spoon round the muffins and transfer to a rack to cool completely if serving later.
- Before serving, warm the muffins a little in the microwave, or wrap in foil and heat in a pre heated oven.
These muffins were a delight. Soft and with a very slight heat from the chillies. The li’l guy had four of these, after which I really had to stop him And the soup, it was a spicy, creamy delight, smooth as silk . Dinesh, who is usually not very good at bestowing praises, had quite a lot to say about it, as soon as he tried the first spoonful. Well, not quite a lot, probably one or two words, but, coming from him, that was more than enough
Have a great weekend, everyone, and for all my readers who are in the midst of winter, do keep warm