Carrot and ginger soup with coconut milk

soupAs regular readers will know, I have recently been having some problems with my stomach. For over a week, the only foods I could eat without immediately being in pain were plain porridge made with water (yuk!) and plain couscous with a bit of spinach stirred in. Exciting, no? Towards the middle of week two, I started to feel able to introduce slightly more flavourful foods to my diet, so I decided to make some soup. Being already blended, I thought it would be easy enough to digest while allowing my taste buds to get some action again! I enjoyed the soup so much that I knew I would have to make it again. So  when my stomach started playing up again yesterday (apparantly greasy fish and chips at the Irish pub weren’t its friend), I did, and this time remembered to record it for my blog. So here is my recipe for Carrot and Ginger Soup with Coconut Milk (completely made up by me – if there are similar soups already on the internet it’s entirely coincidence!). I apologise in advance for the crappy photos (even more crappy than usual that is). My camera is in the process of dying a slow and painful death…

Carrot and Ginger Soup with Coconut Milk

Step 1: Gather your ingredients
Step 1: Gather your ingredients

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main meal with bread)
5 or 6 carrots (750g)
1 medium potato (200g)
Fresh ginger
1 tin of coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Put some water in a pan and set it on to boil (or boil some water in the kettle and pour it into a pan)
2. Peel the potato and all but one carrot (two if they’re small ones) and dice them into small pieces, then place them in the boiling water and cook until soft.

Dicing

3. Drain out the water then place the potatoes and carrots in a blender (or back in the pan if using a hand blender) and blend to a purree.

Blending

4. Return the purree to the pan and grate in about a teaspoon of fresh ginger – sorry I can’t be more precise with the measurement. I just chopped a chunk off and grated it! – (or stir in some powdered ginger if that’s all you’ve got – I won’t tell anyone), then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
5. Place the pan back on the hob on a low heat and stir in the tin of coconut milk
6. While the mixture is heating, peel the remaining carrots then grate them into the pan. Once all the carrot is grated, stir it in and immediately remove the pan from the heat.

Grate in the remaining carrot

7. Check the seasoning, add more if required, then serve the soup along with some bread.

The step with the grated carrot is optional – if you prefer, you can purree all the carrots. Personally, I like the texture the grated carrot adds and I like to kid myself that it makes the soup more healthy because it ends up practically raw so none of the vitamins can have been cooked out yet 😉

This soup is gluten free, dairy free and both vegetarian and vegan, so basically perfect for almost everyone.

Some kind of smoothie

smoothieI had to buy a new hand blender because I’d managed to break my old one. In the interest of fairness, I should add that said breaking was entirely down to my own stupidity and had nothing to do with any failings in the device itself. Apparantly the metal attachment hadn’t been properly screwed back onto the handle part after use. Being me, I didn’t bother to check this before using the blender but, seeing it already put together, simply plugged it in and pressed the button. Even when it started making weird noises while spinning all I did was think “Hmm, it doesn’t normally sound like that!”. It only occurred to me to check what was going on when the smell of burning plastic filled the air. Result: the plastic thingy in the handle part things that causes the metal rod for the blades to spin is all worn away so the spinning thing no longer happens. Basically, I’m pretty much a moron…

To christen my new blender, I made this drink which involves the blending together of fruit (and coconut milk), so I guess it’s a smoothie of some kind…

Ingredients:
125 g raspberries
1 tin coconut milk
The juice from half a lime
1 small banana

Method:
1. Break the raspberries  up a bit and place them in a jug with a little bit of the coconut milk, then blend the raspberries until smooth (you might want to wear an apron in case raspberry juice goes everywhere. Or maybe that only happens to me… we’ve already established that I’m a moron, after all ;-))

2. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the freshly squeezed lime juice and stir everything together well with a spoon.

3. Chop up the banana (slice it then halve the slices) and add it to the mixture. Blend everything together until smooth.

4. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool before drinking. Trust me, you won’t want to drink it warm!

Tada… a refreshing drink for summer! And it’s full of fruit (and no added sugar), so it’s also healthy and stuff. Aaaand it’s lactose free/vegan, so basically everyone can enjoy. Unless you’re allergic to coconut milk. Or limes, raspberries or bananas. I bet somebody out there is! (Also, if you’re wondering why the banana went in last… it’s because I only put it in as an afterthought when I realised the mixture was kind of runny. I suppose you can probably put it in earlier, if you like. Or leave it out and use more raspberries – I didn’t have any more so that option was out for me!).

Turkey and Coconut Milk Risotto

I made a risotto for tea last night that came out pretty well, so I thought I’d share it with you. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the actual cooking process because it wasn’t until I sat down to eat it that I thought “Wow, this is good. I should share it on my blog!”. I did take a picture of the end product though, so at least can see how it looked once it was finished! 😀

Bevchen’s Turkey and Coconut Milk Risotto

 

My risotto
My risotto

Ingredients (This amount served 2 of us)

About 20-30 g butter
Olive oil, for frying
150 g risotto rice
Around 350 ml chicken stock
Around 500 g bite-sized pieces of turkey breast
One tin of coconut milk
One red onion
A handful of green beans (the long ones… Prinzessbohnen in German), roughly chopped
Two garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
Dried chilli flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Pine nuts (optional), for decoration

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and use it to sautee the red onion
  2. At the same time, heat some olive oil in a frying pan and use that to fry the garlic
  3. Add the rice to the saucepan with the onion and stir until coated with butter, then add about 100 ml of the chicken stock and stir. Wait until all the stock is absorbed before adding another 100 ml. Continue like this until you’ve used all the stock.
  4. Meanwhile, stir some ginger into the pan with the garlic then add the turkey and fry until almost cooked through. Close to the end of the cooking time, add the beans
  5. Once all the stock is soaked up, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in some chilli flakes and black pepper, then pour in the coconut milk and return to a low heat to warm through
  6. Ad the chicken mixture to the rice/coconut milk pan and stir everything together, then give the mixture a tate to see if any more seasoning is needed. I added extra chilli flakes and black pepper. The chicken stock provided enough salt, in my opinion, but you could add extra salt if you like
  7. Dish the risotto out into bowls and sprinkle pine nuts on top to decorate (and because they taste gooood!)

Voila! A simple yet healthy (ish) meal!
It would probably taste even better if it had fresh ginger and chillis in, but as it was a “what can I make with the things I currently have in the flat?” meal and I hadn’t been shopping, I had neither of those things to work with.

Whole green beans in a carton.
These are like the type of beans I mean, except mine were thinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting somewhere on the job hunting front.

The woman from Ettlingen called today – at 9:30 this morning. They were drilling in the rooms abover our office again (it’s been going on for almost a week now!) which made it slightly difficult to hear her, but I think I managed to get everything. Goodness knows what she thought of me though!They’re going to send me a practice text to translate and then 2 translations to do trial proofreads. I’ve taken Thursday afternoon off, so they’re going to send the texts then and I have a certain amount of time to finish them (an hour for the translation, longer for the proofreads). So things are progressing. If I do a good job the next step will presumably be an invitation to come for an interview. It’s all very exciting… in a horribly nerve racking kind of way!
Today has been hot, which is nice when you have access to a swimming pool and unlimited cold drinks. Not quite so nice when you’re stuck in an office with 3 printers, a fax machine, a photocopier and 5 computers (4 of which were switched on). I shouldn’t complain too much though – Mother Nature might hear me and cause it to rain non-stop for the rest of the summer. I prefer roasting to death in the office than drowning trying to get there thank you very much!

On the way home I decided I’d pop into Aldi and get myself something for tea. Jan isn’t coming over tonight so I wanted something quick, easy and suitable for one person. Of course, me being me “something quick and easy for tea” ended up being 10 euros spent on crap which I then had to carry home. It’s Asia week at Aldi Süd this week, which means they have loads of Chinese and Indian stuff in that they usually don’t sell. This meant I just had to buy a bag of prawn crackers for no reason othet than that they were there and it’s been ages since I had any. Then I spotted the 5 spice. Oh yes, never know when you might need some of that. And oh look, coconut milk. Always useful to have around… I just can’t go food shopping without buying rubbish.
I’m now hot and tired after carrying all that stuff home so I’m off to get an icecream. Yes, before dinner. That’s the advantage of being a) over 21 and b) in a different country to your parents…