Sunday, October 28, 2012

Back to the homegrown: the green and the orange

We've been back home for a week now and it's pleasing how despite our two-month absence and the fact it didn't rain much at all during that time, the garden's coped remarkably well (not too many horrendous weeds, kind of thanks to not much rain I suppose!) and there are even vegetables for us to pick, as well as peaches and nectarines and other fruit taking shape in the orchard.
On the very first night we were back, we had a lovely tender symphony of green vegetables for our meal along with chicken and rice: an entree of asparagus(the bed had become rather overgrown but there were still a lot of healthy spears there), a side dish of spinach(which has done remarkably well, considering) and an after-main course salad of green and red lettuce(ditto.) There's also a lot of great new fresh garlic, lots of artichokes, carrots and parsnips still going, as well as sorrel, rocket, and lots of different herbs: coriander, dill, thyme, basil, etc.
The third night we were back, I made a lovely fresh carrot, orange and cumin soup slightly adapted from a great recipe in one of the French cooking magazines I brought back, Cuisine Actuelle. It's a very simple and delicious soup, light and fresh, and makes a pretty sight too with its deep orange colour.
Here's how to make it, for two people. Grate three medium-sized or two large carrots, chop some onion and garlic, fry the these in some olive oil till golden then add the grated carrot, the juice of half an orange(keep the other half for later), salt, pepper, and cumin. Add some stock--vegetable or chicken or whatever you like-- to cover well, simmer till everything is tender, add the other half of the orange juice, simmer another couple of minutes, then taste to see seasoning is right, and either serve as is, as I did, or blend up everything to make a smooth velvety soup. Absolutely delicious, and it also tastes great the next day if you make extra! Add some chopped herbs--i used basil--to decorate.

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