Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soup

This is a lusciously hearty, enthusiastically spiced, cheerfully vivid soup that belies the fact that it’s pretty lightweight, too, at 50 calories a cup. (more…)

October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Asian, Autumn, Intermittent Fasting, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Courgette, Mint and Ginger Soup (aka Zucchini Soup)

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Such a wonderful, easy soup to make, and, at 36 calories a cup, you can have someone else watch your waist for you 🙂

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September 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . 5:2 Diet, Autumn, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Fall Harvest Goodies: Pumpkin Cupcakes

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A dozen of these cupcakes were casually carted off to a friend’s house last night as dessert for six kiddies, and another near-dozen vanished straight down the cake holes of immediate family members and sleepover pals, before I fully appreciated their appeal. So, here’s the recipe for these moist and luscious babies.

Those of you who enjoy amassing your pumpkin puree via slaving over a stove (ie. cubing and baking the squash, then whizzing in a food processor) may do so. Without sacrificing much in taste, those of you who struggle to find a minute to yourselves may enjoy my preferred puree-obtaining method for baking – via can opener!

After nearly hacking off a finger for the second year in a row, you may as well enjoy our Halloween squash handiwork too 🙂

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November 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , . American, Autumn, Baked Goods, Cakes, Cultural Feasts, Cupcakes, Festive. 3 comments.

Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pecans, Lime and Rosemary

Brought this over to Deb and David’s for Thanksgiving, where there was such an amazing spread of beautiful dishes and a majestic queen of a turkey.

I came up the recipe a day earlier, determined not to look at existing recipes because, let’s face it, I have never had a brussels sprouts dish that I enjoyed.

The sprouts have been sliced purely for aesthetic reasons, and were bought for the same reason – I spotted them sprouting fetchingly out of a long stalk at Trader Joe’s. (more…)

November 29, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian, winter. 1 comment.

One Calamity, But a Perfect Pastry Emerges

The pear and almond tart turned out so beautifully that I reproduced it at the weekend, but this time also did the pastry from scratch. I am a bit of a pie purist and truly believe that the effort of one’s hands makes for a tastier pie, and gives you control over the ingredients. As you probably know, one normally makes shortcrust pastry by cutting up cold butter into cubes, turning that into a breadcrumby mixture with sugar, processing everything with flour and a hint of salt, then possibly adding an egg yolk and/or water to bring it all together. This dough then sits in the fridge an hour to relax before it’s rolled out, placed in a tart pan, pricked with a fork and baked.

Enter the no-roll, no-fridge, no-processing, quick-mix pastry.

A friend in France said that she knew some baking types to bake the butter and sugar first when they prepare tart dough. I’m familiar with how you introduce heat to the making of choux pastry  (the butter is melted first with some sugar) but not for tarts, so I did some research and was intrigued by David Levovitz’s account of how he observed Paule Caillat, who teaches cooking in Paris, make tart dough by baking a butter/oil/sugar mixture in the oven for 15 minutes, then adding flour.

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November 25, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Baked Goods, Desserts, winter. 1 comment.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It was nostalgic cooking with butternut squash recently, a much-neglected activity since the early months of weaning both my children. It has literally been years since I have picked up this fruit, preferring instead to make pies, couscous, roasted veg dishes and soups with pumpkin instead.

Back in the day, I’d skin the Mr-Peanut-shaped, pale beige butternut, cube and steam it, then whizz it into the most attractive orange-colored (more…)

October 15, 2009. Tags: . Autumn, Festive, Gluten-free, Rosh Hashana, Soups, winter. 2 comments.

Melon Soup (Recession-Friendly)

So I copped out on the chicken soup and matzo balls this year. What can I say, it’s a recession and I couldn’t countenance wasting an entire carcass for what would have been, no doubt, a tasty soup. Besides, the butcher was long on non-kosher sausages and short on chicken bones. Instead, I reproduced a soup I came up with a few weeks earlier when I found myself with two voluptuous melons fast ripening and fast stinking up my kitchen – this is what melons do if you haven’t room in your fridge for them – and had to find a non-wasteful way of using them up. (more…)

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , . Autumn, Festive, Jewish, Passover, Rosh Hashana, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Carrot and Cummin Soup


The texture and colour of this soup is so appealing that I return to it often, whatever the season. Beef it up with some lentils and leave half the vegetables unpureed for a hearty meal with chunky bread. It’s easy to make and to vary, and I am finally attempting to pin it down in writing before I forget what’s gone into it!

  • carrots, 500g worth, tipped, skinned, sliced
  • tomato paste, 1 small can
  • lemon juice, of 1/2 lemon, plus zest
  • ground cummin, 3/4 tbsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • leeks, 3, sliced
  • celery, 3, chopped
  • veg stock, about 600ml
  • tomatoes, 2, skinned and chopped
  • coriander leaves, handful
  • seasoning

  1. In about 2-3 tbsp of butter or olive or canola oil, saute the leeks and celery till tender
  2. Add the ground spices, stir till fragrant
  3. Add the carrots and tomatoes and a little stock, allow to soften
  4. Add stock and tomato paste
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the veg are cooked
  6. Bung most of the soup’s solids, including half the coriander leaves, into a blender and puree
  7. Return to the pan, keep warm till it’s served
  8. Drizzle with oil or add a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl of soup, and, if you wish, some chopped coriander.

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April 14, 2009. Tags: , . Autumn, Passover, Soups, Spring, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian, winter. 3 comments.

Not Just Any Pumpkin Pie

I resisted baking pumpkin pies for many years because I found them too rich, too squashy or simply not worthy of plate licking. During our years in Canada, where a plethora of pumpkin varieties abounds in the fall, I decided to modify and build upon a basic 4-ingredient pie recipe (found on the back of a can of pureed pumpkin) and combined the result with an interesting crust for the popular winner here.

As the end result has proved excessively good, those keen to know more may contact me through this blog.

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November 17, 2008. Tags: , . Autumn, Baked Goods, Desserts, Festive, winter. 3 comments.

Banana Cake II – With Wholegrain Flour and Extra Fruit


I deliberately buy bananas and let them sit and ripen as an excuse to bake a banana cake. I do this so often the children have acquired a Pavlovian response of demanding a cake when they see the fruit lying around.

This is one of three banana cake recipes we enjoy, being moist, ludicrously easy, relatively healthy and so, so banana-rey. As it bakes it gets a slightly crunchy crust, which my children love topped with their favourite cream cheese icing which I present below.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter (125g)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (white is fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour, sifted with
  • 1 heaped tsp baking soda and
  • 1 tsp baking powder, plus
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 very ripe, large bananas, mashed with a fork at the last minute
  1. Cream the eggs, butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy
  2. Sift the flour/soda/powder/salt into the butter mixture
  3. Process till well combined, add vanilla
  4. Fold in the mashed bananas
  5. Pour into pre-oiled baking tin
  6. Bake at 175C or 360F for 40 minutes
  7. Ice as desired

Cream cheese icing

In a small processor, add

  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 orange’s zest
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1/2 stick butter

Blend all the above together till creamy, adding more icing sugar as needed I like to ice the cake while it’s warm for a rustic, carelessly thrown-together look. Sprinkle with coconut shavings if desired.

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

November 9, 2008. Tags: . Autumn, Baked Goods, Cakes, Kids Cuisine. Leave a comment.

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