Blaggers and Bullshitters. I am unsubscribing from a few blogs and twitters from fellow family cooking types because I cannot stand feeling this inadequate. One blogger/blagger, allegedly in one day from her tweets and posts, wrote three paid-for food articles, baked and decorated two paid-for cakes to order, supervised a playdate for an impossibly named child (Phelia or Persephi or some other silly name that embarrassingly lays naked parental social aspirations) where they all made scrummy kiddie cupcakes together–beautifully photographed of course–and then, if that wasn’t enough, felted her own hand-knitted shit in the washing machine while cooking a delicious multi-course anniversary meal from scratch for her husband. And she has previously trumpeted that she crochets her own bikinis, thus leading one to believe she also looks good in a bikini. Bullshit. If this woman is real, there are one of two things going on: either a dangerously overactive thyroid or some massive over-compensation complex, either of which require immediate medical attention. But, I now reckon she is manufactured, a conglomerate persona run by some marketing company or another to try to sell stuff by sucking you into some unachievable idea of womanhood, probably via concealed product placement or other mind-bending psychomarketing ploys. I am so on to you now, you blaggers who blog!
By 10am this morning, I have cleaned the cats tray, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned the oven, made beds, put on a laundry and cut up veg for soup. I might make risotto later on after I have done my exam marking but I am already knackered. I am sincerely hoping not to have to go pick up any groceries today, I think there is just enough milk and bread, etc. to do us until at least tomorrow. So there. That’s reality and I promise never to lie about it…rant over. Actually I lied already, I haven’t made my bed yet.
Carrot and Cardamom Soup Recipe:
Not fond of carrot and coriander soup, sometimes tastes like fairy liquid to me, so thought I would try cardamom instead as I love that light, lemony fragrant taste.
Ingredients for 4:
- 1.5 lb Carrots, 700g, washed and chopped into medium to large dice, just helps with the blending later on
- A few pale, inside stalks of Celery because that is what I had in the fridge, the outer ones were a bit tough, ropey and stringy and I could not be fagged destringing celery–life being too short to stuff a mushroom and all that
- 1 small Leek, sliced, again because it was in the fridge looking lonely
- Three or four Shallots, minced
- Couple of cloves of Garlic, minced
- 6 whole Cardamom pods
- 1 Bay Leaf for fun
- Squeeze of lemon, lime or orange, whatever citrus you fancy
- 2 Pints thin Vegetable Stock, I made up mine from a tub of Marigold Vegetable Bouillon
Gently soften the onion, leek, celery, shallots and garlic in a large heavy based pot, your choice of oil or butter, I use olive oil with a little bit of butter too. Add in the cardamom pods and turn up the heat just a little bit till they start to release their fragrance, which is subtle but if you leave the kitchen and come back the scent is glorious. Add in the carrots. Sweat for 5 minutes, then add in a bay leaf and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 35 minutes until the carrots are very soft. Remove the bay leaf. Fish around for the cardamoms, which will in all likelihood be floating (apart from one, there’s always one!), squish out the softened seeds into the soup and discard the husks. After blending, taste and season with salt/pepper and citrus. I did not add any salt as the lemon was enough.
Some recipes call for grinding the cardamom in a pestle and mortar or adding it in later, after the soup has cooked as a sort of powder mix-through. This is just wrong. Asian spices need to fry to release their flavours and fragrances. I know because I lived in Asia for five years. Cardamoms soften and slightly open themselves with a little heat.
And the taste? As I suspected it would be, lightly fragrant and lemony, with a really good colour, far deeper orange than the pic shows.