Saturday, 1 January 2011

Soup for the New Year

Happy New Year! After a few thoughtful posts, I think it is time for a recipe. And at this time of year, if you have had as much indulgent festive food as us, some good healthy soups and salads are needed. So today I will share a Thai Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup that I made a few weeks back. It was both easy and healthy.

Actually it is so easy that I almost didn't post it but it was very good. I made it while Sylvia was playing in the sandpit out the back where I could watch her. I need more soups like this and I love colourful vegies so I thought this might be good inspiration for me and possibly you.

Actually it was a bit simpler on the first night that we had it but it was not quite enough for E and me the second night around. I bought some baby spinach and tofu to add to it, which made it more of a meal. I also bought a cheese and garlic twist from Bakers Delight, partly because I thought Sylvia would eat it. She nibbled at it but loved the plain tofu far more.

Now after telling you about the soup, I will give you a peak at our New Year's Eve dinner last night. It was a hot night and not a great one to discover that our air conditioner was not working. I baked the haggis earlier in the day but when I came to making haggis nachos in the evening it was so hot that I spread all the nachos in a large roasting tray in one layer and heated them under the grill.

I had made sure that we had all the ingredients for the salsa and nachos but forgot about the guacamole and yoghurt that I normally serve on them. It was too hot and late to nip out to the shops so I made do. I created a vegan sour cream based on this recipe, which uses silken tofu.

We often have tofu in the house but the firm variety. So I used firm tofu and added a bit of seeded mustard, some garlic powder and a spoonful of soy mayonnaise and blitzed it in the blender. The tofu sour cream wasn't quite as smooth as my previous effort but it tasted good. Sylvia even dipped her corn chips in it. I will confess that for lunch today I had a sandwich with leftover sour cream, leftover haggis and some potato crisps. Not at all the healthy food that I need, but delicious!

We had a toast to the new year. E had some of the beer that he had joined with my dad in a day of beer brewing (though E didn't make the bottling day). You may notice a Collingwood Football Club theme on the labels to celebrate their AFL premiership this year. (My dad's choice, not E's.) They say it tastes different because it doesn't have the additives usually found in commercial beer. It is not my cup of tea. Instead, I have been quite fond of Delia's festive punch this year.

I have said before that I am not fond of New Year's Resolutions. But my one hope for 2011 that I will share this year is for my little lime tree in the backyard. We have had some fruit from the lemon tree but nothing so far from the lime. Right now there are a few baby limes on our tree, thanks to all the rain last year. I hope we might be able to pick a few fully grown limes this year if the weather continues to be kind to our tree. I hope the year is kind to you too.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

This time last year:
Reflections on 2009
This time two years ago:
New Year’s Feasting
This time three years ago:
Still life with fruit and fudge (NYE pt 1)

Thai sweet potato and carrot soup
serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 x 270ml tin of light coconut cream
  • 4-5 x 270ml tins of water (ie I just used the empty coconut cream tin as my measuring cup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 dessertspoons of green curry paste
  • 100g baby spinach, finely sliced
  • 100g firm tofu, finely chopped
Heat oil in a stockpot and fry onion, carrots and celery for about 10-20 minutes over a low heat to soften. Add sweet potato, coconut cream, water and salt. Bring to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegies are very soft. Blend using a hand held blender. Stir in curry paste and stir in spinach and tofu.

On the stereo:
Winter Songs: The Albion Christmas Band


  1. This soup sounds delicious, I love the combination of coconut and sweet potato!

  2. Your leftovers sandwich sounds amazing! I'd pay good money for that ;)

    Good idea using the grill on the hot night, too. I'm currently sweltering and thinking I might try and read the last 150 pages of Love in a Cold Climate, seeing as it's way too hot to go to sleep for several hours yet!

  3. The soup looks delicious Johanna - really rich and thick and filling.

    I hope your lime fruits this year. I envy your need for air-con, but really hope you get it fixed soon!

  4. Lovely soup and I am so glad you posted it. Best wishes for the New Year to you and your family. Keep up the good work on your blog for 2011. I am always inspired by your offerings.

  5. Happy New Year Johanna... I love the soup, and love nibbling cottage cheese too. You got a lime on your tree? Lucky girl! I've had a lime tree in my backyard for 11 year... 3 flowers which fell off and no limes ever! Seeing your precious little lime, I am hopeful again! Have a wonderful wonderful 2011...

  6. Hi Johanna! Happy New Year! The soup sounds amazing. However, I just can't take my hungry mind off the thought of those nachos and that dip!

    I don't usually make resolutions either but, I've resolved to try to include at least one serving of tofu a week. I may just begin with your dip:) We'll see...

    Wishing you and your lovely family a happy, healthy and safe new year with lots of babies on that lime tree:)

    P.S. You can send some of that heat this way any time you like. We're freezing in PA!!!

  7. This looks great, Johanna. Coconut milk is a miracle ingredient!
    I know you said you're not big into resolutions but my resolution for this year is to develop my food photography skills which are now pretty much nil. Your photography is amazing. Do you mind my asking if you have any tips to share with me? what kind of camera and lens do you use? I have a good Dslr camera (canon) but my lenses and skills are better suited for outdoor pix of my kids and scenery. Food photography is just a whole new thing for me. Any tips or recommended reading? Thanks so much and have a great year. Hope you accomplish everything you set out to do!

  8. Look at that soup! It's so thick you can see the ripples from when it was poured. Now THAT's a soup ;)

  9. Thanks Jodye - they go together so well, don't they

    Thanks Hannah - the sandwich is why I need more healthy soups (well one reason) hope you are getting some of our cooler weather

    Thanks C - need to get the air con fixed so I feel like more thick soups :-)

    Thanks Lisa - very kind

    Thanks Deeba - I am amazed as you at our baby lime - fingers crossed

    Thanks Louise - you are welcome to a bit of our heat - and I love your resolution to eat tofu every week - it is so versatile you need never get bored

    Thanks Rivki - I am no expert on photography - I just know to avoid the flash and use a close up button - but I have some links to others advice on this post

    Thanks Lorraine - it was pleasingly thick - just the way I love my soup

  10. This soup looks so yummy! I love a nice hearty soup as a dinner!

  11. Happy New Year Johanna!! I think simple recipes are great to have up your sleeve, as when I am tired or short on time, I need quick and tasty meals.

  12. Not sure how I missed this post--happy new year, again! :D The soup sounds fabulous, just what I need about mid-January. ;)

  13. What a cute little lime!! This soup sounds so simple and delicious. Any soup that's Thai inspired always draws me in!


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