Cook this: orange, cranberry & rosemary cake

There are some really great things about being part of the food and travel blogging community. You make new friends all over the world, get some great ideas to add to the bucket list, always have like-minded people to bounce ideas off, and best of all, always have great new recipes to try  : )

I saw this one on Rachel’s site, Emerging Adult Eats, last week, and immediately added oranges and cranberries to my shopping list. I love orange and cranberry – one of my favourite old recipes is orange, cranberry and oat cookies. I was also really intrigued by Rachel’s addition of rosemary, for a savoury touch… I intended to make this as more of a cake than a bread, and planned on omitting the rosemary, but once the matter was made and tasted before being poured into the tin, I decided to add a little dried rosemary that I had in the spice cupboard anyway – it just seemed the right thing to do.

Anyway, I made my only little adjustments, as I am want to do, and here’s how it went…

 

Ingredients:
– 2 ½ cups self-raising flour
– ½ cup caster sugar
– 3 eggs
– ½ cup olive oil
– ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt
– juice of 2 oranges
– zest of 2 oranges
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup dried cranberries
– pinch of salt
– 1 tsp dried rosemary
– ¼ cup mixed seeds (I used pepitas and sunflower seeds)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease a bread loaf tin.

2. Combine the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yoghurt, orange zest and juice, and the vanilla.

4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour until completely combined – you may have to scrape out the whisk a few times.

5. Finally, stir in the cranberries, salt and rosemary, pour the batter into the tin, and sprinkle the seeds over the top.

6. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Advertisements

Eat here: Bawa, Melbourne (brunch)

Bawa
248 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn
http://bawacafe.com/

Is it just me, or does anyone else get an odd sense of satisfaction when they realise they’ve made it to Wednesday? Half way through the working week feels like a decent achievement. Wednesday is also Breakfast Club day in our house, and usually a work-from-home day for me. I need my Wednesdays; they perk me up. Getting to have breaky at home with my husband and take my fur baby on a lunch break walk around the block is lovely. And starting/finishing earlier than usual allows me to get in some afternoon tea & reading time, and actually still have the time to cook a nice dinner instead of the usual rushed, thrown together plate. Being the text-book introvert that I am, I find it very true that I get my energy from quiet, alone time more than being around lots of people all the time (which is why, as much as I love the chaos of travel, I absolutely MUST have some down time every day to just sit and calm down and write in a travel journal so I can recharge and kep going), so having that day away from the mayhem of an inner CBD office gives me a bit more energy to get through the next few days before the weekend hits.

Being half way to the weekend and enjoying a nice breakfast at home instead of the standard rush job at my desk, Wednesdays are usually also the day I’m thinking of weekend brunch options. Last weekend I got to enjoy an amazing brunch while ticking off part of my New Year’s Resolution goals of meeting a new blogger – Roz from In Love With Brunch – as well as catching up again with Lisa from Lisa Eat World, two lovely ladies who are following their hearts and dreams and doing what makes them happy.

We decided on Bawa as our brunch location, given the massive hype around it right now. Arriving just before 11am on Saturday and seeing the massive crowd gathered out the front was actually more encouraging than not – any time the hipsters are congregating in droves and not complaining about the wait, you know the food is gonna be good.

The cafe itself is a beautiful space, flooded with natural light and greenery. I loved the wooden tables, benches and floorboards; without them, I think it would have felt a little too modern and clinical. The menu is amazing, and I struggled a little to pick something out – there was a lot I loved the look of, but when I saw this, I was hooked:

POTATO ROESTI, SLOW BRAISED PORK, POACHED EGGS, HERB HOLLANDAISE

Obviously. Potato, pork, eggs. Love.

Great option, hence why we saw so many of these flying out of the kitchen. Golden potato, tender pork, perfectly poached eggs, and the most incredible herb hollandaise, which blended perfectly with the egg yolk to the best sauce ever. The little chunks of freeze-dried apple were a nice touch with the pork – probably could have used more than two bites though!

Lisa and I both ordered the pork, but Roz went down the sweet route with the ricotta fritters with strawberries and pecans… which would have been my next option! She kindly let me try a little, and they were so good… soft fritters, beautiful flavour, and the strawberries were incredible!

Don’t be daunted by the crowds – the food IS that good, the menu is amazing and has something for everyone, and this weekend is as good a time as any for a brunch date 🙂
Bawa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sometimes you DO get to choose your family… Eat here: Ichi Ni Nana, Melbourne (Japanese)

Ichi Ni Nana
127 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
http://ichininana.com.au/

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who love you no matter what.”

Last weekend I posted this quote on Instagram after a particularly fantastic night out. As I wrote a few days ago, I wasn’t real keen on “celebrating” my birthday this year, but I was convinced that dinner with my best friends wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. I texted the four girls I consider to be my best friends, and three were available. I decided on Ichi Ni Nana, because I love Japanese food, I hadn’t been there yet, and it was in an area easy enough for everyone to get to after work. So last Friday night, I had dinner with my husband and the three girls – my family.

“Family isn’t always blood.” No, it isn’t. My family is rocky at the best of times, which has necessitated the finding of other “family” over the years. I’ve had friends come and go, as we all do, but I think it’s been particularly devastating to me when “friends” have cut ties with me because of how important they’ve always been to me. During the times my blood family weren’t there for me and couldn’t/didn’t have my back, my friendship family did. These girls are that family to me.

One I’ve known since year 7, and we have truly been there for each other through the most horrendous times of our lives. Where a lot of people might shirk that friendship in later years through embarrassment of what the other knows, it’s only made us closer. We’ve seen each others’ rock bottom and we’re still here for and because of each other.

Another two of those ladies I’ve been friends with for a good 6 or 7 years, although it feels like a lot longer. We worked together and became life long friends. One of them has been not only my best friend, but sister, mother, soul mate, counselor, shoulder to cry on, drinking buddy, partner in crime, and MC at my wedding. She’s one of those remarkable souls that I know I’ll be infinitely connected to and who’s mere presence will assure me that everything will be ok.

The other is the rare type of friend that you don’t have to be constantly seeing or texting or calling to know she’s there. She respects the need for isolation during the shitty times, and is ready to pick right back up where you left off when you’re ready to face the world again, no questions asked.

And the fourth horseman is one I worked with a few years ago in the travel industry; we initially bonded over a mutual love of travel, burgers, donuts and a shared hatred of stupid people, and now it feels like we’ve been friends for a million years. We share an intolerance for fructose and lactose, a lot of personality traits, and the understanding that sometimes all each other needs is a shoulder to cry on and then a cake to share. She’s one of the few people I can turn off my filter and just be 100% myself around.

And then, finally, my husband. We’ve been through a lot together, which elevates him to best friend status, and not just husband. Us girls don’t talk fake tans and new shoes around him (or ever, to be honest), and we’re not a lovey-dovey annoying couple around them (or, once again, ever). These are the people I wanted to be with to enjoy good food and a good night, and so (with one missing), I did 🙂

So now that you’ve “met” my “family,” let me introduce you to some amazing food…
Ichi Ni Nana (Japanese for numbers one two seven) opened only a few weeks ago in the cavernous space that was Old Colonial Inn. Paul Adamo and Vince Sofo (the guys behind The Espy, among other ventures) have spent the last few years prettying up the old space and transforming it into a multi level bar and eatery. And it’s gorgeous inside – with hand-made wooden detailing, dim lighting and beautiful lanterns, it’s the Fitzroy take on a classic izakaya. The menu is enormous, and made to share, so here’s a look at some of the food we got stuck into…

Drinks first – I went with the Jasmine Sake-Tea-Ni ($17.00) – sake, jasmine, tea, fresh grapefruit and a little sugar syrup. Perfect.

Sashimi salad ($20.00) – a beautiful little plate of salmon, tuna, white fish, crab and fish roe, served with wasabi that’ll knock your socks off, soy and herbs. Fresh, clean, flawless.

Pork bao ($14.00) – fried rice bun with BBQ pork – I’ve never had bao in fried buns before, but this is something that needs to be happening more often. Being fried meant they kept their shape and didn’t fall into a mushy heap with the sauces, but they were still soft and pillowy inside. And that pork…

Wagyu sliders ($14.00) – juicy, tender wagyu beef and wasabi slaw in a really eye-catching black bun, with the most delicious pickle I’ve ever eaten on the side. Really great addition to the table, and they were pretty popular all round.

Salmon teriyaki mayo hako sushi ($20.00) – seared salmon block pressed sushi seasoned with Japanese mayo and teriyaki (best combination of sauces ever, FYI) and topped with roe and spring onion. I loved this – the salmon was buttery soft, there was just enough sauce, and the roe on top was the perfect salty addition.

 

Other items ordered and enjoyed included:
– fried eggplant with sweet miso sauce
– scallop 5 ways
– vegetable gyoza

 

And then, dessert. Two of the girls ordered the chocolate mousse ($12.00) – star anise-infused chocolate mousse with yuzu cream, chocolate soil and charcoal waffle. I tried it, I liked it, that yuzu cream was delicious!

Also ordered were a few serves of the chocolate harumaki ($12.00) – chocolate filled spring rolls with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, toasted almonds and a little mascarpone cheese. These were a big hit – crispy golden pastry filled with warm chocolate and a pile of ice cream to dip them in – what’s not to love?!

The final dessert was the one I wanted most – a scoop of green tea & biscuit ice cream ($10.00) probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had outside of Messina, which is a big call for a place that doesn’t specialise in ice cream! Smooth, creamy, amazing green tea flavour – hands down the best thing to finish on! I’d go back just for that and some sushi in summer!  

One of my favourite new arrivals to Melbourne’s summer dining scene – while it isn’t super cheap (but what is in Melbourne?!), the quality and variety make it well worth a visit, particularly for a special occasion 🙂
Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Blessed: how a Melbourne girl finally acknowledges her birthday

I’m writing this post from the comfort of my couch, the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries on in the background, and my fur baby curled up by my side. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m pretty tired; it’s been a massive weekend. And the next few weeks aren’t going to be any quieter – Christmas parties, birthdays, weddings, dinners with friends… and tomorrow, another birthday for me.

hotel2

I’ve been pretty determined to ignore this birthday. It’s one of those big, ugly ones. Thirty. Blehh. It’s not so much the age that disturbs me – I neither look nor act my age (although I really hate that feeling I’ve been getting more and more frequently that the best years of my life are flying by and I’m not making the most of them…). It’s not the fact that I don’t have a big, fancy career title. Or that I’m childless. All things considered, I’m actually pretty happy with my choices and path in life. But that nasty depression/anxiety/disordered eating cocktail, some bumpy family ties, and my eternal predisposition to  instinctively go through life unnoticed has meant that I really didn’t want any acknowledgement or fanfare this year. No parties, no cakes, no gifts.

IMG_3587

I reluctantly agreed to a small lunch on the Saturday with just my family and in-laws to mark the occasion, on the proviso that there’d be no cake or singing or any of that crap. Seeing as we’d be out for lunch and had no big celebratory plans for the night, I decided to book a hotel room in the city for husband and I – getting lost in a busy city always relaxes me.

hotel

A few weeks after that was all organised, I hesitantly, at my patient husband’s suggestion, texted my my four best friends to see if they’d maybe want to have dinner with me on Friday night – I felt like SUCH a twat asking them to mark my birthday with a dinner, because I really don’t feel worthy of celebration. But the girls were all excited, so I started to get a little excited, too..

IMG_3552

Just before last weekend, I started getting a little anxious about it all. With more going on than I’d care to admit, I knew it was time to take the advice I always tried so hard to ignore, and just slow down and take a breath. I applied for a day of annual leave from work so I could mark this birthday on my own, privately, in a way that I could only do alone and that would make sense only to me. So, on Thursday morning, I got up and enjoyed a cup of tea and a little bit of muesli. Then, I made my way to a tram stop and caught a tram to my favourite part of Melbourne (Fitzroy and Collingwood), where I did something very uncharacteristic of me; I indulged in some of my favourite things, slowly and deliberately. I ordered myself a pastry for morning tea, without a panic attack, even though I hadn’t worked out at 5.45am that morning. I sat and enjoyed it with a pot of tea while I spent some time on my favourite hobby – writing.

IMG_3519

After that, I did something even more out of character – I got a manicure and pedicure. It took me the best part of the pamper session to actually relax and enjoy it. I didn’t force myself to eat because it was “lunch time;” I walked around, slowly and aimlessly, and waited until I was actually hungry. I wrote a little more over lunch. I decided to get some new tattoos. Then, I eventually made my way to another cafe for another pot of tea. I ordered a chocolate chip cookie, too, because it was exactly what I felt like. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a pastry and a cookie on the same day, let alone on a day when I hadn’t worked out for at least at hour…

IMG_3496

That last stop was the one I needed most that day. I sat down with a hot pot of tea, that chocolate chip cookie, and a notebook that’s been sitting on my little desk at home for the last few months, with the words “THE RECOVERY DIARIES” scrawled up its spine. It’s the little notebook I write notes in that might help me along my path to be happier and healthier. Notes from books like “The Happiness Handbook” by Dr Timothy Sharp, snippets of information and quotes from Brene Brown, points from Nia Shanks’ latest e-book, notes from the Girlspo+ workbook, and other random bits and pieces. Anyway, on Thursday afternoon with my tea and cookie, I started to think about where I’m at and where I want to be, and I started writing; my birthday gift to myself (other than the new shoes, hotel night, tattoos and matcha cronut) was actually investing the time to give myself a bit more direction for the weeks and months leading up to my next birthday.

IMG_3521

I’m a great planner, but my low confidence and self-esteem means that I’m not always great at following through (certainly not always, but undeniably more and more often, I’m inclined to just give up when I think I’m not good enough to actually achieve something). I’m an efficient organiser, but I struggle to focus (instead of having the confidence to develop one or two main passions, I tend to try everything in the hopes that maybe I’ll be good enough at one of them). Everything’s hunky dory in theory, but in practice, anxiety often gets the best of me and I never get the chance to put my step by step plans into place. So Thursday afternoon was the time I’d finally set aside to start working on a realistic game plan.

IMG_3647

I realised a few other things things year in the lead up to the birthday:
— I’m only human. There is only so much I can do. And that’s ok.
— My mother is also only human. We are really, truly, undeniably polar opposites, and that’s ok, too. Circumstances and situations over many years that are more complicated than any standard therapist’s pay grade dictate that our relationship will never be less than complicated, and that is ok.
— I’ll always feel like I need to be strong around my dad, who I absolutely love to bits. I will always feel like it’s my job to assure him that I’m ok, even when I’m not. And I know I’m not fooling him, but he also respects me enough to allow me the dignity to carry on working things out myself without interruption.
— I cannot wear every single hat every single day. I need to learn when to let shit go. Just because I was a black belt martial artist and a dancer and a pianist and a personal trainer and a blogger and tried to be a runner and took up yoga and wanted to learn to cook from 15 different cook books at one point or another in my life, does not mean I still need to do everything. My passions and goals are allowed to evolve and change.
IMG_3544
— It’s ok to say no to people I just don’t connect with, events I don’t feel comfortable attending, things I don’t want to do.
— I also need to make more of an effort to find my tribe and attend events that I really do want to be at, even through anxiety. Because why should anyone else make an effort with me if I don’t put any effort in myself?
— I’ve got a long way to go before I have this disordered eating business under control. But even one step forward and two steps back is a type of progress.
— Marrying my best friend was the best thing I could have possibly done. Whether we make it to our fiftieth wedding anniversary or end up divorced in a few years, I wouldn’t change what we’ve had for anything. He’s had my back from day one (God only knows why), and we’ve experienced the highest highs and lowest lows together. We’ve both had lofty dreams which we’d never have achieved without each others’ support. He can handle me at my worst, and can bring out my best.
IMG_3490
— I might not have a massive group of friends anymore, but the ones I do have are some of the strongest, most beautiful women in the world. They’re girls with balls, with goals, with dreams, with more to talk about than a spray tan appointments and the new heels they’re breaking in. These are women that have been there for me and have allowed me the honour of being there for them. A soul mate isn’t necessarily a spouse – while my husband is my best friend and one of my soul mates, the small group of women I have the privilege to call my friends are my soul mates, too 🙂
— At the end of the day, when my time is up, no one else is gonna give a shit about what I did. No one is going to congratulate me for either working non stop or taking lots of time off to travel the world. No one is going to high 5 me for either having three children or deciding to stay childless and pursue my own dreams. So I need to stop giving a shit about what everyone thinks now, because none of them are going to be there at the end of it all.
– Does it make you happy? Do it more. Does it make you sad? Stop doing it. Simple.

IMG_3505

So, I’m gonna call it a night now guys, counting my blessings for this amazing weekend and one of the best birthdays I’ve actually had in a while, despite all of my protesting… And throughout the week, I’m going to have some suggestions on places to visit in your own Melbourne backyard, places to enjoy a meal at with your friends, and some ways to treat yourself if you’re feeling a bit flat and in need of a pre-holiday season perk up – because you shouldn’t wait until your birthday to make yourself a priority 🙂 xo

Oktoberfest V.2 – Cook this: chocolate pretzels

Oktoberfest V.2: SUCCESS.

IMG_3215

We had so much fun with Backyard Oktoberfest last year, we decided to do it again this year. Well, that was the plan originally. Then, we started getting a bit more into it, and the ideas got a bit more out of control…

IMG_3229

For those of you not married to beer connoisseurs, Oktoberfest is an annual beer festival originating in Germany. For Australians, it’s just a good reason to dress like idiots and drink with your mates. But it’s about more than the beer, I think. I don’t even like beer. I hate it, actually – I imagine beer is what cat piss would taste like. But I love wine. And good food. And having a great night with my friends. And so, on the inebriated success of last year’s slightly impromptu event, we decided to do it all over again this year – just bigger and better.

IMG_3069

The backyard BBQ seemed too simple to repeat; we wanted something bigger and better. So we decided to transform the man cave into a beer hall (obviously), which was decorated with (almost too) much enthusiasm. 5000 pretzels were baked (that’s what it felt like, anyway). And not just the regular delicious bready ones to eat with mustard; there were little chocolate ones, too (keep scrolling, the recipe is coming). Cured sausages were sliced and served. Schnitzels crumbed and fried. Potato mixed with copious amounts of bacon and mayo, and called a “salad.” Steins were filled. And emptied. And re-filled. Hell, there were even balloons. And ridiculous outfits.

IMG_3223

 

All that fun aside, I did also promise you a recipe. While some people may think that dessert is unnecessary and potentially even dangerous when there’s drinking going on, I’ve found that, quite to the contrary, cookies are actually the perfect friend to beer and wine. Last year I did Black Forest cookies (which were demolished within half an hour of appearing), but I wanted something a little different this year. Chocolate pretzels.

These were a bit of a challenge because they’re not a standard cookie recipe per se – we’re still using a yeast risen dough to given them the pretzel texture, just adding sugar and cocoa powder to sweeten them and turn them from savoury to sweet. Anyway, it was actually a pretty simple recipe once I tweaked it a bit and practiced a few times – I based my version on the one that appears in the 500 COOKIES cookbook.

Ingredients for the cookies (makes 40-ish)
– 375g plain flour
– 4 tbsp castor sugar
– 3 tbsp brown sugar
– 2 tsp yeast
– 1 cup (240ml) warm water
– 150g butter, melted and cooled
– pinch of salt
– 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or same amount of regular cocoa powder, just use half the amount of sugar)

For the icing:
– 1 egg white
– approximately 300g icing sugar
– blue food colouring

 

Method
1. Combine 4 tbsp on the flour with 2 tbsp of the caster sugar, the yeast and the warm water in a bowl, mix and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, with a pinch of salt, the rest of the sugar and the cocoa powder.

3. Pour the butter and yeast mix into the flour, and stir to combine completely.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Then transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line two oven trays with baking paper.

6. Roll out small pieces of dough and shape as pretzels – how much dough you use depends on how big or small you want your pretzels. To shape them, roll the dough into nice long pieces, bring the two ends up to meet each other, making a long U shape. Twist the ends, fold them back over each other to the bottom of the U, and use a little water dabbed on the ends of them to attach them.

7. Place on the oven trays with a little space between each, and bake 12 minutes, until firm to touch.

8. Once completely cooled, you can ice them with a pretty basic royal icing recipe – just whisk the egg white, then sift the icing sugar in, a half cup or so at a time, until you’re happy with the consistency. I used a little blue food colouring, but you can obviously use whatever colour you want 🙂

Eat here: Small Victories, Melbourne (brunch)

Little Victories
617 Rathdowne St, North Carlton, Melbourne
http://www.smallvictoriescafe.com.au/

 

IMG_9834

Wednesday morning. Just got to work. Feeling a bit down and flat. And remembered it was only Wednesday. Shit. Computer on, diary checked, to do list consulted, emails loading, phone bleeps: “Hey lady, how you doing? I want to check out Small Victories for breakfast on Saturday, care to join me?” YES!!!

IMG_9781

This girl is great. We’ve only been friends for like 5 years or so, starting work as travel consultants in the same store a few weeks apart, but I feel like I’ve known her forever. We got to be better friends after a few days in Christchurch together (see above) and bonded over a shared love for eating, cooking, photographing and reading about food, as well as a mutual understanding that most people are morons most of the time. She also has this uncanny knack for always texting me at the exact time I need to hear from someone not full of sunshine and lollipops and “oh yay, be happy, life is great!”

Anyway, breakfast at Small Victories. It’s a cute little place, designed to be clean and simple, and tucked into a little strip of Rathdowne St amongst a few other cafes. The menu is gorgeous, and hard to pick from, but in the end, @jessicavee (if you need a delicious new Instagram account to follow, this is it) went with the buttermilk waffle, candied pecans, gingerbread ice cream, toasted vanilla marshmallows, pumpkin custard, maple syrup ($17.00), which looked magnificent and I believe wad quite delicious!

IMG_9836
I went with the poached eggs, ricotta fritters, roast pumpkin, walnut purée, brown butter, 18 month ages prosciutto and crisp sage ($17.00): amazing! Eggs were poached perfectly, the sweet roasted pumpkin and ricotta fritters were delicious against the salty prosciutto, and the walnut purée, though not nearly enough of it, was a great addition.

IMG_9839

While the service was a little cold and impersonal, the food was fantastic; I spied a few other dishes rolling out of the kitchen that I’d be keen to try, too. They’re open all weekend, too, so if you need a reason to get out of bed before lunch time tomorrow, scroll back up to those waffles and eggs, and call a friend!

 

Click to add a blog post for Small Victories on Zomato

Cook this: coconut pumpkin soup

Remember that particular gem of a friend who I brunched with at Two Little Pigs and All Day Donuts a few weeks ago? That most brilliant lady who I’ve known for something like four years now, but somehow feels like a forever friend? Well not only does she know all the good brunch spots, she’s also pretty nifty in the kitchen – she produces wonderful food porn which frequently has me drooling over my phone, and her Bill Granger coconut pumpkin soup last week was no exception. She kindly passed on the recipe, which, as usual, I screwed around with a little to suit myself, and it turned out a damn good soup! I was really impressed at how easy it was (that’s usually a massive deterent for me making soup more often) and how much flavor it packed. I served it up with some home made Irish soda bread, and plan on making it again and again through out Melbourne’s upcoming winter. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients (serves 4):

– 1-2 tbsp garlic infused oil (I use this to keep it as FODMAPs friendly as possible – if your stomach doesn’t have issues with garlic, just use oil + 3 roughly chopped garlic cloves)
– 1 red chili, chopped
– 2 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 1 tbsp smoky paprika
– 1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
– 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
– 400ml coconut milk
– 3 tbsp fish sauce
– squeeze of lime juice, to your taste
– fresh coriander leaves and bread to serve

Method:

1. Heat a large pot over low heat, and add the garlic oil, chili, cumin and paprika. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, until the smells of the spices really come out.

2. Add the pumpkin and carrot, cooking for another few minutes, still stirring.

3. Add 6 cups of water (or vegetable stock – I prefer a stronger coconut flavour so I just used water), turn the heat up and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30min, until the veggies are soft and you can easily stick a fork into them. 

4. Take the pot off the heat to cool for 10 minutes, then purée (I like my Big Foot, which you can see below; a food processor or blender will do the job perfectly well, too) until smooth.

 IMG_8788

5. Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, and as much salt, pepper and lime juice as you like the taste of.

6. Re-heat over low heat to bring it back up to a warm enough temperature to enjoy, sprinkle with a little fresh coriander and serve with toasted bread.