Contents: Coconut, Carrot, Curry

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

 I have to admit although I am a veggie lover, I have never been a fan of carrots; not cooked carrots any way. The taste variations are amazing depending on how they’re cooked (or not cooked).

Carrots are always around too, yet they seem to sink into oblivion when I’m in the produce section. Orange or coral, is one of my favorite colors so I wonder how I’ve avoided carrots till now.

While perusing the web for new and tantalizing ideas in food, I zeroed in on a carrot soup presented by a fellow food blogger. The ingredients of the soup contained many that I have used and love and the chef pureed the soup which “cream-ifies” the carrots therefore making it much more amenable to my liking.

I continued searching around and discovered that carrot soup is an easy dish to make and can be made using any number of different spices and herbs. The idea of curry and coconut came to me as my mind wandered east to the flavors of Thailand where both curry and coconut are staple ingredients in their dishes.

Just an aside: I haven’t had good Thai food in quite a while and I rarely, if ever, attempt to replicate it or most other Asian dishes for that matter; sometimes you just have to eat out.

I’ve made many pureed soups before using sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, leeks, the usual suspects, so I am not a novice. I went with my instincts and used some of my favorite ingredients for this tasty soup that I am very proud to say, is quite delicious and of course, full of flavor!

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Some extra soup to savor…

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

…or share?

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

 Yes, soup in the summer!  These carrots are fruity and refreshing, even in the warm weather.

Here’s the easy recipe.

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

3 C organic carrots, peeled and cut
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 t curry powder
¼ t salt
1 t minced ginger
5 C vegetable or chicken stock
6 oz. coconut milk
1 T brown sugar

Process: 

Sauté the following: onion, carrots, ginger, garlic; add the stock, pepper flakes, curry powder, and salt and cook until the carrots have softened (about 25 minutes); add the coconut milk and sugar; cook for another 10 minutes and allow to cool. Puree the mixture until smooth, reheat and serve.

Suggestion: Adding a squeeze of lime offers another layer of flavor.


The Many Fruits of Summer

Blueberry Crostata

Blueberry Crostata

I’ve always loved the summer for so many reasons. Warm weather gets me up and out more and there are many more options for activities when it’s warm outside. The fruits that become available are amazing and I’ve just come to realize how beneficial it is to their flavor to wait until a fruit is in season before cooking with and eating it.

Blueberries have finally come around and they are inexpensive, juicy and sweet!

Did someone mention blueberry pie?
Yes, they did and I made it easy on myself by making this fruity and rustic blueberry crostata.
Very fresh, and a nice mix of tart and sweet.  And did I mention that blueberries are loaded with antioxidants?

This is an easy and full-of-flavor recipe that I tweaked from a combination of The Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Crostata recipe and Epicurious’ Blueberry Pie recipe.

Enjoy these tempting photos and try it yourself.

Not hard, trust me.

Blueberry Crostata

Blueberries all wrapped up and ready for baking!

Blueberry Crostata

 Blueberry bursts of flavor!

Blueberry Crostata

Baked and ready to eat!

Blueberry Crostata

 Just another angle of delicious-ness!

Blueberry Crostata

Here, have a slice!

Blueberry Crostata

 Or two!

The recipe…

Blueberry Crostata

Recipe for the dough:

**Please note that I doubled the recipe for the dough to accommodate the amount of blueberries used.

1 C flour, 2 T sugar, 1/4 t salt, 1 stick cold butter, 2 T ice water

Tip:  Freeze the unsalted butter for about 30 minutes then use a cheese grater to add it in with the other ingredients.  Super easy!
When the mixture is crumbly, roll it by hand on a clean floured surface and knead it.
Form it into a disc, wrap it in plastic then refrigerate it until the filling is completed.
Roll out the dough into a circular shape (about 11″ diameter) and place it on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Recipe for the filling:

Ingredients:

3 C. blueberries
1/2 C water
2 T potato starch
1/2 C organic sugar
2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 t freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 t lemon zest
pinch of salt

Process:  cook 1 cup of the blueberries in the 1/2 cup of water; bring to a boil.  In a separate bowl mix the potato starch, lemon and orange juices, sugar, zest and salt; add this mixture to the boiling blueberries and stir constantly; let simmer for about 2 minutes and remove from heat; after cooled gently add to the remaining blueberries mixing well.

Add this mixture to your chilled and rolled out dough.  Fold up the edges to “hug” the blueberry mixture.; bake in a preheated oven at 400 F degrees for about 40 minutes until crust is golden.  Let cool before serving.


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