So that's 2010 over and I notice that lots of bloggers are presenting their selection of the best of 2010. I've seen cookbooks, gadgets and recipes covered but I'm surprised that I've not seen anyone dealing with the vital business of The Best Songs To Listen To While Cooking. Well, after considerable thought, here's my 2010 selection. (Actually some of these might have been released in 2009, but who cares?)
Best for stirring and beating: The Imagined Village - Sweet Jane
Best for cake baking and other happy tasks: Stornoway - Zorbing
Best for calm actions such as folding: Richard Hawley - Remorse Code
Best for cheering me up when things don't taste right and for reminding me just what's important: Chris Wood - My Darling's Downsized
Plus honourable mentions for ‘Bombay Bicycle Club - Rinse Me Down’ and ‘Gérald De Palmas – Dans Une Larme’ for when I can’t decide what to cook.
Happy New Year and let's hope 2011 is a good one. I have a feeling that I might have some trouble finding enough time to keep this blog updated in 2011, but I promise to try.
Anyway, enough of this self-regarding nonsense and back to the recipes. Here's a fragrant little soup to start the new year that's good for using up the veg left over from the festive season. This will make 4 – 5 portions.
1 onion, finely chopped
400 g carrots, peeled and chopped
200 g parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 cm fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 tsp sumac
1.25 litres vegetable stock
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
small handful of basmati rice
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
a little lemon juice, but only if needed
Soften the onion in a little oil – cold pressed rapeseed oil works really well if you have some. Stir in the carrots and parsnips followed by the ginger, cumin, coriander and sumac. Pour over 1 litre of the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the apple and rice, cover the pan and simmer gently until the veg and rice is nice and soft.
Take the pan off the heat, then stir in the maple syrup and pomegranate molasses. Liquidise the lot and add some of the reserved stock if the soup is too thick. Adjust the seasoning and the sweet and sour balance by adding more maple syrup or a little lemon juice, if necessary.