Spicy Carrot Maple Soup

Since Baby E has started solid food, I've been spending a lot of time brainstorming quick and easy dishes that are healthy for both of us.

Like this Spicy Carrot Maple Soup.

I garnished the bowl in the photo above with a little crème fraîche, green onion and toasted sesame seeds, but if you left the crème fraîche off, this soup would be vegetarian and even VEGAN.

WHAT IS HAPPENING.


Spicy Carrot Maple Soup

2 lbs carrots, washed, not peeled, ends trimmed, rough chopped

2 shallots or 1 small-medium onion, diced

2 bay leaves

water to cover carrots

1 Cup Pure Infused Chipotle & Lemongrass Maple Syrup (see note below)

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

- place chopped carrots, chopped shallots (or onion) and bay leaves in a large pot - cover carrots with water (about 10-12 Cups) - bring to a light boil and gently simmer until carrots are soft, 25-30 minutes

- purée with a handheld immersion blender or, carefully ladle hot carrots and liquid into a blender and process until liquefied - pour soup back into pot then stir in maple syrup, kosher salt and black pepper

*noteI happened to have a bottle of Pure Infused Chipotle & Lemongrass maple syrup in my cupboard which added a lovely sweetness and mild underlying heat but you can substitute 1 Cup of any maple syrup then add 1/2 - 1 tsp of dried red chili flakes to taste

 

il Trullo Dartmouth

Eggs Benedict on grilled ciabatta with house-cured Sustainable Blue salmon, baby spinach, crispy fried capers and polenta fries

Eggs Benedict on grilled ciabatta with house-cured Sustainable Blue salmon, baby spinach, crispy fried capers and polenta fries

il Trullo, located at King's Wharf in Dartmouth, asked me to do some shots for their upcoming new website.  

One of the perks of the jobI got to try everything and the food is soooooooo goooooood.

il Trullo is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday, dinner only on Saturdays, brunch and dinner on Sundays and closed Mondays.

Breakfast Pizza with béchamel, house-cured pancetta, chopped broccolini, smoked mozzarella, two cracked eggs and hollandaise

Breakfast Pizza with béchamel, house-cured pancetta, chopped broccolini, smoked mozzarella, two cracked eggs and hollandaise

Buttermilk pancakes with ricotta, whipped vanilla mascarpone and macerated berries

Buttermilk pancakes with ricotta, whipped vanilla mascarpone and macerated berries

Beef carpaccio topped with baby arugula, shaved pecorino, aged balsamic, extra virgin olive oil and truffle powder

Beef carpaccio topped with baby arugula, shaved pecorino, aged balsamic, extra virgin olive oil and truffle powder

Salumi board with a rotating selection of cured meats, local and imported cheeses, house-pickled vegetables, Puglia Cerignola olives, fried pizza dough and homemade crackers

Salumi board with a rotating selection of cured meats, local and imported cheeses, house-pickled vegetables, Puglia Cerignola olives, fried pizza dough and homemade crackers

Handmade bronze-die cut squid ink spaghettini with shrimp, scallop, mussels, cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh red chilis, olive oil

Handmade bronze-die cut squid ink spaghettini with shrimp, scallop, mussels, cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh red chilis, olive oil

Pizza 'il Trullo' with homemade fennel sausage, Genoa salami, mozzarella, chilis, fresh rosemary, lavender honey drizzle

Pizza 'il Trullo' with homemade fennel sausage, Genoa salami, mozzarella, chilis, fresh rosemary, lavender honey drizzle

Pizza Funghi with garlic cream, béchamel, mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle powder, cured grated egg yolk, crispy sage leaves

Pizza Funghi with garlic cream, béchamel, mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle powder, cured grated egg yolk, crispy sage leaves

Seared chicken breast, butter poached potato, roasted corn and chicken ravioli, onion ash enamel, pan sauce

Seared chicken breast, butter poached potato, roasted corn and chicken ravioli, onion ash enamel, pan sauce

Coconut Chili Lime Shortbread

Coconut Chili Lime Shortbread

1 C sugar

2 limes

1.5 tsp dried red chili flakes

2 C salted butter, room temp to soft

1/2 C dried unsweetened shredded coconut

3 1/4 C flour

- preheat oven 300º

- add sugar to bowl of stand mixer - zest both limes directly into sugar - mix with paddle on low to combine - add chili flakes to sugar and mix on low to combine

- add butter to sugar - beat on medium-high speed until butter is soft, fluffy and everything is well mixed 

- with mixer running on low, add coconut and allow to mix in, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary - add flour, about 1/2 C at a time until all flour has been added - turn off mixer and finish mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or hard plastic spatula

- turn dough out into a 10-12 inch round pan or 8 x 8 square pan - smooth dough evenly into pan with the back of a soup spoon - score the top of the dough with slicing marks (wedges for a round pan, squares for a square pan, or whatever other shape you like - you can also roll out dough and cut int shapes if you like) then prick all over with a fork or small skewer - bake 60-70 minutes or until top edges are lightly golden (thicker shortbread will need at least this much time, thinner shortbread will need less time, probably 45-50 minutes) - cool on a rack then slice, using score marks to cut

Lemon Cranberry Curd

I bought lemons before Christmas to make curd with and totally forgot about them. When I was at Halifax Central Library last week for a mom date, my new friend Meredith brought me a jar of Meyer lemon curd that she'd made and It was so delicious that baby and I ate the entire jar in one day.

It was so good I knew I had to make some myself.

As I was browsing the fridge, I noticed I still had fresh cranberries left over from the spicy bread pudding I made a couple of week's ago and thought, what the hell? Plus, making this beautiful curd gave me a chance to practice dark and moody food photography which I love love love.

Lemon Cranberry Curd

3 lemons

12 ounce bag fresh cranberries

3 eggs

1 C sugar

1/4 C butter

- juice one whole lemon into a small/medium pot - add cranberries and set over medium-low heat until cranberries can be easily crushed with a fork, about 10 minutes - remove from heat, mash cranberries and set aside

- in a large microwaveable bowl whisk eggs + sugar until smooth and sugar is completely dissolved (this step is really important - I whisk a few times over the course of ten minutes or so to make sure the sugar has completely dissolved into the eggs) - zest remaining two lemons into the eggs and sugar and then juice the same two lemons right into the bowl - break the butter into small pieces with your hands and add to the egg, sugar, lemon zest and juice mix - whisk everything together well

- microwave, one minute at a time, for 5 minutes, whisking well in between each minute - after five minutes, whisk and then, with the back of a spoon, press the cranberries through a sieve into the curd - discard cranberry skins - microwave one minute more - curd should be the consistency of loose pudding - if still too runny, return to microwave in 30 second intervals until thickened (it usually takes me one or two 30 second intervals to get my curd to the right consistency) - jar and refrigerate

***IMPORTANT*** - IF YOU DO NOT WHISK YOUR EGGS AND SUGAR UNTIL THE SUGAR DISSOLVES COMPLETELY you will probably end up with cooked scrambled egg bits. That's fine, but IF THIS HAPPENS - pour your curd through a sieve before you jar it. It will pretty much run right through - you may have to press the last bit through with the back of a spoon. The sieve will catch all of the scrambled bits.