It's a rainy day in Scotland; the natural state of things. I cooked most of the day and looked up various hotels and venues for my trip to Canada in a few weeks...I'm really excited at meeting up with my old friends in Toronto, visiting Montreal and walking the Bruce trail, possibly staying at Niagara on the Lake and visiting some wineries. Can you hear that high pitched noise? That's me, screaming in a pitch reserved for cats and dogs, so the kids can't hear how excited I am.
I made Carrot, Honey and Ginger soup for lunch today, alongside pan toasted ciabatta with cheese and chorizo, cheese and ham and just plain ole cheese. I stuck to the soup only, letting the rest of them wire in to the bread, having lost another 2 pounds this week and not wanting to put it back on in one sitting!
Carrot, Honey & Ginger Soup
5oz/150g onion, thinly sliced
3/4 oz/20g root ginger, thinly sliced
3oz/75g unsalted butter (I used much less than this-around 1oz/25g)
21oz/600g carrots, sliced
1.5 pints/1 litre water (I used a mild chicken stock)
One third oz / 8g salt (just added it to taste!)
Fifth oz/5g white pepper (just added it to taste!)
Squeeze lemon juice
Sweat onions and ginger in butter over gentle heat for ten minutes...do not brown so keep and eye on them. Add a droplet or two of water if required.
Stir in the honey and let it melt.
Add carrots and stir. Pour in water or stock.
Add seasoning to taste, bring to boil, cover then simmer for 45 minutes.
Pour into liquidiser and process to a puree.
Check the salt and pepper, add more if required, add lemon juice and serve with a little cream.
This soup is excellent if left to get cold, placed in fridge and reheated.
For dinner, I made pizza & chips; not any old pizza and chips but homemade pizza: the dough, the sauce and I even milked the buffalo myself....ok, I lie but the rest is true. The chips were made with sweet potato, cut into chips, drizzled with a little olive oil, sea salt and thyme and roasted in a medium to high oven for 20-30 minutes, until soft and browned a little on the outside.
Home-made Pizza with fresh Tomato Sauce and sliced Mozzarella
250g plain flour, good Italian 00 flour is best but isn't necessary
1 heaped teaspoon easy-blend dried yeast (half 7g sachet)
Half teaspoon salt
150ml warm water with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil added
1 baking sheet, lightly oiled
Combine flour, yeast and salt and pour in water and oil mix. Form a dough, adding more water if necessary. When it looks bound...it'll still look messy though...plop onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Put into an oiled bowl, turning once to oil both sides of the dough, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.
Make the tomato sauce. This is the same as my usual tomato sauce recipe except I use 2x500g cartons passata and I do not add the water/stock or milk. This can then be used as a pizza sauce and for a variety of other uses.
Put oven on to 240 degrees Celsius/gas mark 9.
Make the chips.
When dough has doubled in size, punch all the air out of it and knead for another minute. Press out onto the baking sheet, atop a baking tray or pizza tin; press out until it nearly fits the tin. spoon over some sauce and bake in the oven for approx. fifteen minutes. Check, you don't want it to burn.
Turn oven down to about 220 and add a little more sauce...just a little and fresh mozzarella, sliced. Sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper or any other toppings of choice. Pesto or basil would be lovely with this. Cook until mozzarella has melted and browned a little...approx. 5-10 minutes.Serve with the chips, salad and some cold meats; you have the option of course of putting the meats...salami, chorizo, pepperoni...on top of the pizza before the cheese. Enjoy.
Edited to add: I forgot to say, with this being served for a family of five, the calorie content per person was 372 calories. There is also lots of tomato sauce left over for pasta and bread pizza.