Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Getting ready for the cold weather with Carrot Soup

So far Autumn this year feels more like Summer but now we are told the temperature will drop ten degrees overnight and we will have the coldest Winter for over a hundred years.
Apart from wearing warm clothes and keeping the house warm, we have to make sure we eat to beat the cold. The Chemist shops in Italy are full of food supplements arranged in tempting displays promising to ward off all ills. There is no doubt that vitamins and minerals are essential for good health but we must be wary. Studies show that some supplements can be harmful .One of these is Betacarotene which is needed to make vitamin A, but we must get it naturally from our diet. Vitamin A is essential for the healthy linings of our bronchial tubes which are the body's first line of defence against infection and particularly vulnerable in Winter.
Vitamin A is found in liver,milk,eggs and cheese and also produced from the carotenes present in carrots,broccoli,green leafy vegetables,red peppers and dried apricots. Leafy dark green vegetables such as spinach have as much carotene as orange vegetables, but the colour is masked by green chlorophyll.
Biology lesson over.
Today I made carrot soup. We all know that carrots are good for us and can help us see in the dark.
The only problem is that they have to be cooked for our bodies to be able to absorb all their goodness. Munching on a raw carrot will re- align your jaw bone and give your teeth a good work out but it seems you won't get all the health benefits that way.

Here is my recipe for Carrot soup . It works well for courgettes, fennel or beetroot too.

1 kg carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
Olive oil and butter
Coriander, if liked
1-2 littes of vegetable stock
Cream and almonds to garnish

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and stir.
Turn the heat down low and cover. This brings out the flavour of the vegetables.
Cook for about ten minutes making sure they don't stick 
Add the potatoes and the stock.
Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Puree the soup with a blender and check the seasonings.
Serve in warm bowls with a swirl of cream and scatter over the almonds.

Follow the soup with a selection of cheese, grapes and nuts for a lovely Autumn  evening.

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