Saturday, 10 November 2012

Honey'd, ginger'd carrot soup and Quesadillas

Yes, folks, it's Saturday. It's been a pretty busy week what with one thing and another, and a busy weekend looming with the school bonfire & fireworks night this evening (and an afternoon setting up the 'tuck and glows' stall - the small child's capacity for glowsticks never ceases to amaze me) and Remembrance Day tomorrow, with my nearest and dearest (all 3 of them) parading and wreath laying at Church, then the scout leaders and families coming for lunch. 

Lunch today needed to be something fairly filling, and nutritious, given that supper will be bonfire burgers/hotdogs followed by sweets (for the kids) and copious amounts of a glass or two of mulled wine (for me).

The kids love quesadillas, which I have mentioned before - basically toasted cheese sandwiches made in soft tortillas, and it wouldn't be a November weekend without a pan of soup on the go. What to put in the soup today was easily answered by the surfeit of carrots that were lurking in the fridge. I had loads of little chantenay carrots left over from last weekend's casserole, and some ordinary carrots which had been superceded by a fresh bag purchased yesterday. I'd come across a Lesley Waters recipe in an old Good Food mag, and decided to pep it up a bit by adding some ground ginger. This, plus a small pinch of dried chilli, gave the soup warmth and depth rather than actual spiciness. And as I'd actually planned today's lunch rather than letting it evolve, I also had spring onions, a red pepper and a couple of avocados to turn the quesadillas into something that might make up for a dirth of veg this evening. 

The kids quite often enjoy helping chop the veg up for this, and Pink was my eager assistant today. I am still not a fully paid up member of the 'kids will eat much more if they are involved in the cooking' school of thought, having suffered some serious set backs on my road to child feeding-nirvana (the road I am still on - and will only consider myself at the end when I can get Blue to eat cauliflower cheese), and also because I have previously found it hard to share my kitchen. However, I am changing my tune. If nothing else, I find that the kids are more tempted to try things if they are allowed to chop and stir, feel and taste, and despite misgivings when the children were younger, it's a great opportunity to spend sometime together engaged in a common purpose. I'm discovering that all sorts of things come out without them even realising it.

Honey'd ginger'd carrot soup

Makes a good panful - would probably serve 6-8 depending on age & appetite and what else was on the table

Olive oil; 2 leeks, sliced; 1 tsp ground ginger; 1 pinch of chilli flakes; 850-900g carrots, topped and tailed and roughly sliced; 1/2 tbsp runny honey; 1 bay leaf; 2-2.5 litres veg stock, salt & pepper

 

yes, more orange soup...
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan, chuck in the leeks along with the ginger and chilli flakes and cook over a reasonable heat for a few minutes, stirring quite frequently, till the leeks soften. Add the carrots and honey and cook for another couple of minutes, then pour in the stock, and freshly ground salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer with the lid half on for 30 mins or so. Once the carrots are cooked, blitz the soup till smooth, then serve.




Quesadillas
 
To fill 6 tortillas: 100g grated cheese, 8 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped, 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped, 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained.




 



Once you have assembled all your ingredients, put a large heavy based frying pan on a medium heat. Lay your first tortilla in the pan, and on half of it, sprinkle some cheese, spring onions, red pepper and sweetcorn.




 Fold over the other half of the tortilla and repeat with a second one so that the other half of the pan has a folded tortilla in it. 








By the time you've assembled your second tortilla, the first one will be ready, probably to turn. Now, I'm not denying that this is a but of a fiddle, but with a couple of spatulas/fish slices, you should be able to flip over the tortillas in turn to heat up the second side. Once the second side is done, the cheese should definitely be melted, so remove the first tortilla from the pan, slice, then remove the second one. Repeat.






I usually place my quesadilla slices on a wooden board covered with a tea towel till they are all done, to keep warm, although they don't tend to hang around long.

13 comments:

  1. Soup looks fab + perfect for my surfeit of carrots. Am not convinced yet by involvement in cooking translating into actually eating stuff - my 2 year old is unbelievably good at peeling garlic, onions, mushrooms, peppers etc and always wants to join in but won't eat a single veg in solid form and frustratingly balks at soup.

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    1. It does improve, honest. Mine are nearly 9 and 6, and the whole food thing is soooo much better. It took me ages for me to get them to eat soup - I used to have to serve it to them as pasta sauce :-(. They don't always eat it now, but they will atleast try with relatively open minds.

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  2. That's a lovely looking lunch - I think one of my biggest foodie breakthroughs this year has been getting the kids to eat soup, It's increased my options, especially when there's not much left in the fridge - and soup has become a regular weekend thing (hooray!)
    You sound exceedingly busy! Hope Bonfire night was fun and all goes well on sunday x

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    1. It's becoming a regular here. Soup is such a great option! It was a great weekend up till early Sunday morning when I developed a sickness bug, so I missed Remembrance Day completely which I am gutted about as it's one of my favourites. Better today, but the Husband is suffering now :-(

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  3. Those quesadillas look fantastic.

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  4. I love a quesadilla...I can never resist adding some chilli!

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  5. Oh, I have a need for a quesadilla now..

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    Replies
    1. some sunshine in the inside on a dreary day?

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  6. Are you hiding your warm quesadilla slices under the tea towel and away from your family? Then, I reckon that you got busted because your family can trace the aroma of your delicious quesadilla :p Got you!

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  7. I like quesadillas very much. They are so ... lovely!

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    Replies
    1. very lovely. I could eat them every day

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