The Barefoot (and Pregnant) Contessa

With the weather getting colder and my belly getting bigger, there is no better time than the present to get back into the kitchen and refine my cooking skills.  I need to get into some sort of groove before this baby comes.  I can’t imagine quitting my job just days before this little one’s arrival and then trying to juggle an entire new life all at once!  So bring on the cook and un-cook books!

Now that this baby is kicking constantly, it is a constant reminder that I’m going to have my hands full in a few months.  I am starting to feel the pressure!

The house is spotless for the first time in a long time, and I’ve been experimenting with new recipes for the past week or so.  I’ve made carrot soup, mushroom soup, Moroccan chicken tajine, chicken mango chutney, chili, and a pumpkin/banana pie that we had to throw out so we wouldn’t eat it all!  I’ve taken pictures of most of them but I’ve lost the cord that connects my camera to the computer…so sad.

Here’s the latest and greatest that has come out of my kitchen!

Coconut Carrot Soup

2 lb carrots

2 yellow onions

3 cloves garlic

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp fresh, grated ginger

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

pinch cayenne

900 ml Vegetable or Chicken Stock (1 container such as PC Blue Menu )

1/2 package Grace, Pure Creamed Coconut (or 1 can coconut milk)

2 tbsp lime juice

honey or maple syrup, to taste (I used about 2 tbsp of honey)

fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Chop up the carrot, onion, and garlic, and place in a medium sized pot with the butter.  Cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.

Add the ginger, cumin, curry, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and stir thoroughly for two minutes.  Then, add the stock.  Heat mixture until boiling and then simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.

If you’re using creamed coconut, place half of the Grace Pure Creamed Coconut package in a bowl and ladle a cup of soup stock from the pot over top.  Mix well.  This will only take a minute and you will have some delicious coconut cream to add to your soup!

Add the coconut cream (or coconut milk) to the soup along with the lime juice.  Add honey to taste.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes with the lid off.  If you use Grace’s coconut cream, be sure to add an extra cup of water or stock to the soup to make up for its lack of moisture.

Remove soup from its heat source and cool slightly before pouring it into a blender and smoothing it out.  Once the soup is smooth, you can return it to the pot or serve directly.  Garnish with cilantro and serve!

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