We went out for dinner a couple of weeks ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The restaurant was Thalassa, named after a primordial sea goddess in Greek Mythology. It is situated on the beautiful Mombasa creek and is the perfect location for a private party, it is beautifully designed and decorated. The menu is varied, with an extensive range of Greek, Lebanese, Italian and French fare, not necessarily a good thing as one wonders exactly what the restaurant is trying to be. I’m not a fan of long food menus, particularly when the theme is unclear. With the exception of the Cheesecake Factory (look past the silly name) chain of restaurants in the US, I have yet to eat at a restaurant with a very long menu where they are able to deliver consistently excellent food. Small is beautiful. The food was disappointing on the whole, except for the Lebanese vegetarian mezze platter (delicious hummus and pickles) and the carrot and ginger soup, which a friend of mine enjoyed (I didn’t try it but took her word for it). As my mum is away, my dad and I have been experimenting a little with our meals. Lunch is our main meal and we have been having fresh soups every evening. I was inspired to try a carrot and ginger soup and this is what I came up with.
Spiced Carrot and Ginger Soup
Serves 4, preparation time: 10-15 minutes, cooking time (including blending): 30 minutes
4 large carrots, scrubbed/peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces (600g raw weight, 480g net weight)
1 white onion (85g net weight), roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
1.5 litres vegetable stock (use a good brand like the Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder) or water
4 tablespoons orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Edit 30/11/2011 I’ve made this soup a few more times and I edited the recipe as a result. I reduced the amount of garlic and removed the chilli flakes because the ginger and the other spices are warm enough.
Use a medium stock pot or casserole. Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, so that onions take on a little colour
Add the garlic, fry for another minute.
Add the carrots, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin, cover the pot and let the carrots sweat for 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock – it may seem like a lot of liquid, but it was just the right quantity for me for the thickness I wanted. Cover the pot and boil on a medium heat for 2o minutes, stirring from time to time.
Switch off the heat, let it sit for 5 minutes and then blend, either using a stick blender or in batches in a standard blender/food processor. It should be completely smooth.
Put back on the heat, add salt and orange juice, taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the fresh coriander and serve hot with some lovely wholegrain toast.
Per serving: Calories 117, Protein 2g, Carbohydrate 18g, Sugars 9g, Fat 4g, Saturates 1g, Fibre 4g. A good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K.