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Red Pepper Carrot Soup

Soup ready to be served

Continuing with the ‘Eat more veggies’ theme, over the weekend I cooked up a storm. Actually my cook was OOF so I was forced to cook. First up was red pepper carrot soup. The first time I have ever had red pepper was a packaged version from Whole Foods. And it was so good that we used to stock it up. Now in India, I don’t buy any pre-packaged food.

This version of red pepper carrot soup is very easy to make. Dice, sauté and blend. Sweet, creamy and colorful. Sautéing it brings out the natural sugar in carrots and bell pepper. The reddish – orange hue is particularly appetizing. If you have a stock of those lovely deep red Indian carrots ( or purple and deep orange ones from farmers market) then give this recipe a try. It freezes well so double up and freeze a portion for mid-week.

Soup ingredients

Soup blended in Magic Bullet

Sunday brunch

Clsoe up of soup

Red Pepper Carrot Soup Recipe

  • Canola or Olive Oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – diced
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 Bell pepper – deseeded and diced
  • 2 carrots – peeled and diced
  • Water  or Chicken Stock – 1 cup
  • Mint chopped – a generous bunch, chopped
  • Veggie Bouillon – 1 packet (optional)
  • Ginger grated – 1/4 inch root
  • Pepper – 1/ 4 tsp
  • Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan, and when warm add cumin seeds. Once they sizzle, add garlic. Once garlic is slightly browned, add diced onions.

2. Once the onions are translucent, add carrots. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Once softened, add bell pepper. Cover and let cook for another couple of minutes.

3. Add pepper, bouillon, ginger and salt. Add water and let cook for another couple of minutes.

4. Once carrots and peppers are cooked through, add mint and let it simmer for about a minute.

5.  Blend this using a magic bullet or a regular blender. Adjust water and seasonings to taste after it is blended.

Garnish with sharp cheddar or mint leaves. Serve warm with crackers and cheese or with a Fritata  for a light brunch.

Flaky Buttery Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin Biscuits

What do you do when your kid won’t eat his veggies? You sneak them into unsuspecting food items.

For past few weeks, I am having hard time to get Varun to eat vegetables. He used to have peas, bell pepper, broccoli, baby tomatoes etc but nowadays only pasta, rice and chicken are his staples besides milk and fries. Not proud of the last one. The only exception to this is if its something warm and crispy – like cheese paratha or puri’s or if its something novel – like shelling peas and eating them as you go.

So, when I found a recipe to make pumpkin biscuits I decided to go for it. Light and buttery. With no added sugar, and with real pumpkin puree, goodness of whole wheat flour and butter, they are perfect as an after school snack or breakfast. And best of all it can be made easily with no special skills needed. If you can mix, knead and roll dough, you are all set. Cut them up with a cookie cutter and bake them for a quick golden treat. They taste even better with butter slathered on them though I can imagine maple syrup or jam would do the trick as well.

Pumpkin biscuits Perfect with Butter

I must admit Vipul and I loved them more than Varun though he was intrigued by the color and wanted to try the ‘cake’ as he insisted on calling them. He ate a few bites before running away. But he asked for it this morning at breakfast and ate some. Small victories and baby steps!

Fresh biscuits from oven

Pumpkin Biscuits Recipe

Makes about 12 biscuits

  • Whole Wheat Flour – 2 cups
  • Baking Powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground nutmeg – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh grated ginger – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh cardamom seeds crushed – 1/2
  • Pumpkin Puree – 1 cup
  • Milk ( Or Butter milk) – 1/3 cup
  • Flour for kneading/rolling – 1/4 cup

1. Sift the flour and then add baking powder, salt and the spices. Mix well and then refrigerate for 10 minutes

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C or 400 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

3. While the dry ingredients rest, whisk the pumpkin puree and milk together.

4. Add the pumpkin puree mixture to the dry ingredients and knead well into a dough. again let rest for 5 minutes.

5. Lightly dust the counter where you will roll the biscuits with flour. With a light hand-roll the dough into a 9″ x 6 ” rectangle. Fold into thirds like an envelope. Turn this ‘folded envelope’ by 90 degrees and then roll again into 9″ x 6″ rectangle.

Once again, fold into thirds. Turn again, roll and fold. Just make sure you use a light hand while rolling else the ‘layers’ will squish into each other.

Roll the dough into thirds

6. Now roll this into a flat square about 1/2 ” thick. Use cookie cutter or sharp metal bowl to cut your shapes. As you cut you will hear ‘poof’ as the air comes out of the layers formed.

Form the biscuits

7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with left over dough. Form the last biscuit with the remaining dough.

8. Gently transfer the biscuits to the baking tray and bake for 15 – 18 minutes.

Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

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