Put simply, 2012 has been great... It started off with a bang, with us finding out we were expecting a baby just days before our 3rd wedding anniversary. I surprised myself with how much I was cooking in spite of the fatigue and hormonal see-saw, but by the time I was done plating the food and it was ready to be photographed, I'd have eaten most of it... and when it was time to sit and write, I'd be far far away in dreamland... (allegedly also snoring in contentment, as per my dear husband!)
A whole 11 months later, the baby is down for her afternoon nap, the chores are done and the weather is fantastic - ok the last bit has nothing to do with writing this blog, but it helps to be in a good mood!
Although I am not really "eating for two" any more, the 9 months of being pregnant made me extremely conscious of what was going into my belly (and on to my butt), and that streak is continuing as I have now graduated into a nursing mom.
I became addicted to Pumpkin soup during the initial months of my pregnancy...something about its mild flavour was comforting and put me in my happy place. Paired with hearty salad this is what I have been turning to quite regularly for weekday lunches when I have to cook for myself while Vineet is away at work ... Its packed with Vitamins A, B, C, E, Calcium and Potassium, and is low in Fat ... Good for me and therefore excellent for little Keya.
Ingredients: (for 2 large servings)
- 2.5 cups Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 1 largish Onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 medium Carrot, peeled, cut into cubes
- 2 cloves Garlic (un-peeled)
- 1 or 2 Bacon rashers (Optional)
- 1 Vegetable / Chicken stock cube, crushed
- 1 cup low fat Milk, slightly warmed
- 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp dried Oregano
- Salt & cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Before you begin, set your oven to pre heat to 220 deg C. Then,
1.) In a mixing bowl, combine the peeled, cubed Pumpkin, Carrot, Onion & unpeeled Garlic cloves. Drizzle with Olive oil and season the veggies with a sprinkling of salt and cracked black pepper & the dried Oregano.
2.) Tumble the seasoned, oiled veggies onto a aluminum foil- lined baking tray and pop it into the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until soft and slightly golden brown around the edges.
3.) Saute the bacon in a non-stick frying pan until its browned but still not crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
4.) Allow the roasted veggies to cool down a little. Transfer into a food processor after discarding the peels of the garlic. Add the cooked bacon (if using) and then pour a little luke warm water over the veggies and blitz on "pulse"mode till the softened veggies are mashed, and then puree everything till its creamy and lump-free.
5.) Bring 1/2 a cup of water to a simmer and dissolve the Veg/ Chicken stock cube. Mix in the pureed pumpkin mixture and stir gently to combine. Add the milk and bring the soup up to a full boil. Turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat. Season once again with Salt/ Pepper/ Oregano to your liking.
The soup puree can be made in bulk and refrigerated for 3-4 days or then frozen for atleast a couple of weeks if you want to use it later.