Saturday again….how the days blow by lately and it’s the weekend again. We are guest free this weekend but that doesn’t mean we won’t be working; there are the delights of cleaning the hen house, raking up the rotten windfalls that escaped my preserving pan, weeding, cleaning the pool and getting it ready for the winter, more chutney making and cooking our daily victuals of course. So, it will be soup for lunch again with a quick bread ~ easy cooking for a quick dash around the table before heading out to the garden again. I made the soup yesterday but we are always happy to have leftovers the next day, especially when it’s home-made soup and served with bread ~ although this is more of a scone type of bread with no yeast, and very quick to make.
This quick scone bread also has the added benefit of oats ~ we love oats in our house and they are never more enjoyable then when baked in bread and scones, hence my very special Oat Cuisine cooking category today. The soup is yet another red/orange variety I notice ~ well, I have had a glut of tomatoes and carrots lately, hence my recent monotone soup collection……however, there is nothing monotone about the taste of this one, it is lightly spiced with curry and the cooking apple adds a little sourness to counteract the sweetness of the carrots.
Autumn is definitely here in full garb now, the mornings are cold rather than cool and it is dark by 8:30pm…….we need to think about sorting our wood delivery out for Winter soon ~ we tend to burn wood rather than use our oil for the central heating. That will be another mammoth job when the wood delivery arrives ~ cutting it into half metre lengths and then stacking it in the wood shed, hard work but strangely very satisfying ~ very Little House on the Prairie. I cook on my wood-burning stove for most of the Winter too……a wonderful Godin range similar to a Rayburn or an Aga, which, turns out the most amazing roast dinners and bread especially. It is harder work then flicking a switch (as on an electric oven), but the heat not only provides all day cooking at the drop of the hat, but powers the radiators and heats the kitchen up…..I love it and 2 or 3 logs can last up to 3 to 4 hours when the damper is nearly closed.
The photo above is of my gas and electric Godin range, my wood-burner is at the other end of the kitchen and is cream with a flat cooking top as well as the oven, warming oven and burning chamber……I thought I had photos, but I can’t find them! My kitchen is quite big and long, with a breakfast bar that separates the main cooking and dining area from what we endearingly call the “Den” ~ a family room with easy chairs, the aforementioned Godin wood-burner, and quite a few books, as well as our old radio, or should I say wireless collection!
|Notice Willow, my cat on the chair!
|A glimpse of the Godin wood-burning range on the left!
|Our kitchen table.
|My old Dresser and Blue and White collection
|The full length of the kitchen and den
SO now you know where all the cooking and eating action goes on……I am very lucky to have such a big kitchen and it is very convivial as I can chat and cook at the same time, something I am known for! But back to the soup and bread ~ these are two simple recipes that would be great for this time of year and are quick and easy to make. I love the combination of the carrots and apple with the warm earthy tones of the curry powder ~ it is a mildly spiced soup, but if you wanted to zip it up a notch, use a hotter curry powder or add a fresh red chilli.
As for the oat scone bread,
it’s so easy and simple to make. You can use wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour mixed with white flour for a chunkier texture if you wish and the addition of walnuts or fruit such as cranberries works well. This is a quick bread with no yeast; it has a scone like texture and is therefore better when eaten on the same day, although it is very nice toasted the next day.
A comforting hug in a mug, this lightly curried carrot and apple soup is easily made and contains no dairy products; serve with oat bread for a healthy cold weather meal.
1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large tart cooking apple, such as Bramley, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
900g (2lbs) carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 litre (2.2pints) hot vegetable stock, I use Swiss Marigold Vegetable Bouillon
salt and pepper, to taste
dried fried onions, to garnish
Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid. Add the onion, garlic and diced apple and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Stir in the curry powder, followed by the carrots, then cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes until the carrots are really soft. Season to taste, then use a stick blender or food processor to whizz the soup until it’s smooth. Ladle into bowls or mugs and top with few dried fried onions an extra sprinkling of curry powder, if you like.