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
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had loads of little chantenay carrots left over from last weekend's casserole, and some ordinary carrots which had been superceded by a fresh bag purchased yesterday.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...|
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.