Golly it's been a busy month! With baby Max chomping down real food albeit in the unrecognisable form of mush. Such a messy experience. For the most part everyone in the family was sick so school was missed and the age of general misery began at the Anderssons. But thankfully that has passed and it's all smiles again.
Aside from the above mentioned dramas I have just finished a photography course at "Nicoles Classes". It's been great getting a better working knowledge of the manual function and exposure. I thought I would share some photos from the weekly homework, and am mighty pleased that two of my images managed to find it's way onto the "Nicoles Classes blog". I know you're thinking ice-cream and lollies for the kids, trust me it's not a frequent indulgence. And yeah that's Abu Dhabi in the last photo.
Let me tell you about this soup, the original recipe I spied in a magazine years ago. I cannot remember the title and plus it has changed so much. I love soups and it's manna from heaven for my kids. They hate seeing chunky vegetables so my hand blender gets a good workout. Soups are my solution to getting the girls onto their vegetables.
You can vary the thickness with using more or less stock, I personally prefer my soups thick. I have specified organic pumpkin and tomato as they do taste better. The fried pumpkin seeds are moreish (a recent discovery), I used Macadamia Nut oil which has a lovely buttery taste. The benefits of this oil are numerous but the key points for me are it's high concentration of monounsaturated fats, high smoke point and long shelf life. The only thing is that it's expensive. And I probably went a little overboard with the garnishes but you can decide what tickles your tastebuds. Give it a whirl and tell me what you think??
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1 kg of organic pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small chunks (seeds reserved)
1 organic tomato, coarsely chopped
600ml vegetable stock, heated(home-made if possible)
6 spring onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
Macadamia Nut oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the pumpkin in a baking tray and rub the chunks with a little olive oil and the cumin. Bash the unpeeled garlic with the flat of your palm and place amongst the pumpkin. Place the tray in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes.
Whilst it's roasting, you can prepare the pumpkin seeds and parsley oil. Heat a small frying pan with a little of the macadamia nut oil. The pumpkin seeds can be rinsed and dried, whatever you do don't leave to dry on paper towels as it sticks to it when dry. Fry the seeds until they brown and start to pop. Remove and leave to cool.
For the parsley oil, wash the parsley, dry and pick the leaves. Place this in a blender and depending on how big your bunch is add some olive oil. You can drizzle a little in as the machine is running so as to ascertain how much you need. It should be thick and not runny.
Once the pumpkin is done heat up a medium sized saucepan with a little olive oil. And gently saute the spring onions for about 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and saute until it starts to lose it's shape. If you want... now is the time to reserve some of the pumpkin pieces for a garnish. Peel the skin from the garlic and add this and the remaining pumpkin to the saucepan. Next add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season and blend using a hand blender. Serve in bowls topped with the pumpkin pieces, seeds and a drizzle of the parsley oil.