Carrot Soup with Apple & Ginger

Carrot soup is a dish that works the entire year – you can warm yourself with it in winter or eat it cold as a refreshing, light meal in summer. The ginger gives it a bit of a zing while the apple adds a sweet, fruity touch. You can serve it with a dash of cream or coconut milk as well as croutons or crackers, depending on how hungry you are. 😉

Delicious, no matter whether served warm or cold!

Ingredients

(enough for 3-4 people)

  • 1 kg fresh carrots
  • 1.5 l instant vegetable broth
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 1 apple
  • a bit of fresh ginger (I use a piece about the size of my thumb. If you like spicy food, add more ginger.)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

How to Make It

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into even pieces.
  • Prepare 1.5 l of instant vegetable broth according to instructions.
  • Peel the shallots and dice them.
  • Heat up 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot and fry the shallots until they are golden brown.
  • Add the vegetable broth and bring it all to a boil.
  • Add the carrot pieces and boil them until they are done (this should take about 10-15 minutes).
  • While the carrot pieces are cooking, wash, peel, and dice the apple. Peel the piece of ginger and dice it as well.
  • Once the carrot pieces are done, turn off the heat. Add the apple and ginger pieces. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg, and let it all simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Take a stick blender and blend everything. You may have to add more broth, depending on how much evaporated during cooking. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you see fit.
  • Serve with a bit of cream or coconut milk as well as bread, crackers, or croutons.

Tortilla de Espinacas – Spanish Spinach Omelet

Earlier this week, I posted my recipe for the classic Spanish omelet, tortilla de patatas. Another popular variant is the spinach omelet. In this recipe, I also use potatoes in a nod to the classic Spanish omelet, but not everyone does it. If you want, you can leave the potatoes out and just add more spinach. I also add pine nuts to make it a bit more interesting.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 potatoes (≈ 150-200 g)
  • 6 eggs
  • 500 ml of (sunflower) oil
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 200 g fresh spinach
  • salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

How to Make It

  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut them into thin and even slices (~ 5 mm)
  • Take a pan (or pot) and heat up the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add some of the potato slices and cook them – yes, you want to cook the slices in the oil, not fry them.
  • When the potato slices are done, take them out of the pan with the help of a skimmer and put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to take off any excess oil. Repeat until you have cooked all your potato slices.
  • In a bowl, whisk the 6 eggs until they are fluffy. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Add the potato slices and stir everything. You may want to squish the slices a bit with the fork so that they mix better with the egg. Make sure that the slices are not too hot or else the egg batter will already get cooked.
  • In another pan, roast the pine nuts (without any oil) until they are golden brown. When they have cooled down a bit, stir them into the potato-egg batter.
  • Wash the spinach and fry it in the pan. Season it with a pinch of ground nutmeg. Once the spinach is done and has cooled off, add it to the batter.
  • Stir the batter to make sure all ingredients are properly mixed.
  • Heat up a spoonful of oil in a pan. Pour in the tortilla batter and reduce the heat to a simmer. You want the batter to set slowly and avoid frying the underside of the tortilla while the mass has not thickened yet.
  • After a few minutes, the tortilla should have set, and it is time to flip it around. Take a plate slightly bigger than the pan, a pair of oven mitts, and cover the pan with the plate. Keep one hand on the plate and quickly flip the pan by 180° so that the plate is at the bottom and the pan on top.
  • Carefully slide the tortilla with the uncooked side back into the pan and let that side set as well.
  • You can serve it warm or cold.

Tortilla de Patatas – Spanish Omelet

Have you heard about tapas? Tapas are tasty appetizers and an integral part of Spanish (food) culture. They range from the classic, simpler snack to the more sophisticated variety and are traditionally served in bars and restaurant with your drinks. The name, tapa, means “cover” or “lid” and refers to the practice of covering the beverage with a little plate of food to prevent dirt from getting into the glass. These days, you can order tapas separately and make full meal out of them.

Today I thought I would share with you a recipe for the most famous and traditional type of tapa – the tortilla de patatas, or Spanish omelet.

(For the version that uses spinach, click here.)

Ingredients

  • 4-5 potatoes (≈ 300-350 g)
  • 6 eggs
  • 500 ml of (sunflower) oil
  • salt, pepper

How to Make It

  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut them into thin and even slices (~ 5 mm)
  • Take a pan (or pot) and heat up the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add some of the potato slices and cook them – yes, you want to cook the slices in the oil, not fry them.
  • When the potato slices are done, take them out of the pan with the help of a skimmer and put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to take off any excess oil. Repeat until you have cooked all your potato slices.
  • In a bowl, whisk the 6 eggs until they are fluffy. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Add the potato slices and stir everything. You may want to squish the slices a bit with the fork so that they mix better with the egg. Make sure that the slices are not too hot or else the egg batter will already get cooked.
  • Heat up a spoonful of oil in a pan. Pour in the tortilla batter and reduce the heat to a simmer. You want the batter to set slowly and avoid frying the underside of the tortilla while the mass has not thickened yet.
  • After a few minutes, the tortilla should have set, and it is time to flip it around. Take a plate slightly bigger than the pan, a pair of oven mitts, and cover the pan with the plate. Keep one hand on the plate and quickly flip the pan by 180° so that the plate is at the bottom and the pan on top.
  • Carefully slide the tortilla with the uncooked side back into the pan and let that side set as well.
  • You can serve it warm or cold.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish vegetable soup mostly eaten during summer because it is served cold. This soup does not require cooking, you just need to have a decent blender and you are good to go. The result is a fresh and refreshing soup and perfect for hot summer days. Just make sure you let it get properly cold before serving it. 🙂

Ingredients

(makes about 5 liters; if you filter it, you end up with about 2.5 to 3 liters)

For the Gazpacho
  • 2 kg tomatoes (roughly 16 pieces)
  • 1½ cucumbers
  • 2 green, 1 red, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 slices of toast
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, “crema de balsamico”, potherbs, oregano
For the Toppings
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 green and 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3-4 slices of toast

How to Make It

  • Wash the tomatoes and cut out the stalks. Take a sharp knife and make a big “X” at the bottom of the tomato.
  • Take a pot and heat up enough water to submerge the tomatoes in it. Once the water is hot, put the tomatoes in it and wait until the skin starts to come off. This usually takes no more than 30 seconds. Then take the tomatoes out of the water and let them cool off.
  • Cut the tomatoes into chunks and put them into the blender.
  • Wash and peel the cucumbers. Dice them and put the pieces into the blender.
  • Peel the cloves of garlic, cut them into slices, and add them to the rest of the ingredients in the blender.
  • Take the slices of toast and cut off the crust. Put the crust to the side; you can use it for the toppings later. Soak the bread for 10-15 minutes in cold water, then carefully squeeze out the water and put the bread into the blender.
  • Blend all your ingredients thoroughly in the blender.
  • Add at least 2 teaspoons of salt and freshly ground pepper each, 8 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of “crema de balsamico”, and 2 teaspoons of oregano. Add potherbs as you see fit (I am a big fan, so I add 4-5 tablespoons easily). Blend again.
  • Take a food mill and sieve the blended soup. Let it sit for 30 minutes, taste it, and adjust the seasoning.
  • Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When serving, the gazpacho must be very cold.
  • Before serving, prepare the toppings.
  • Wash the bell peppers and dice them.
  • Wash the cucumber, peel, and dice it.
  • Wash and dice the tomatoes.
  • Cut the slices of toast into pieces. Take the leftover crusts from the toast for the gazpacho and cut them into pieces as well. Take out a small pan and heat up 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the pieces of toast in the oil until they are golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle the toppings on the gazpacho and serve it. Enjoy cold!

Italian Veggie Pizza

Pizza is a versatile kind of food and you can get creative with your toppings. Basically, anything you like is acceptable. My personal favorite is a simple, yet healthy, veggie option made with zucchini and eggplant. Here, all measurements are estimates; it really depends on your individual tastes whether you want to add all ingredients and how much of them.

Ingredients

  • pizza dough of your choice
  • pizza sauce
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 150-200 g goat cheese
  • spices like oregano, salt, pepper, chili, …

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you own a pizza stone, make sure to heat it up in the oven. If you do not own one, no problem – either oil a baking tray or line it with baking parchment.
  • Roll out the dough and put it on the baking tray (or the pizza shovel to transport the pizza to the stone later).
  • Spread the pizza sauce to your liking.
  • Cut up the veggies and spread them on the pizza.
  • Cut up the cheese and sprinkle it on the pizza. Add whatever spices you feel like.
  • Put the pizza into the oven and bake for 15-20 min., depending on your preferences.
  • Take it out, cut it into pieces, and enjoy!

Why don’t you share with me a picture on Twitter or Instagram of your pizza night? 🙂

Veggie Scrambled Eggs

I am a big omelet fan because they are quick and easy to make and a great way to use up veggie leftovers from previous cooking exploits. It is often my go-to lunch option right before it’s time to go grocery shopping again since it’s so efficient. 🙂

In my family, when we make omelet, we also add a spoonful of milk to the egg mix (1 spoonful for each egg that you add), add the spices and then whisk it. I find that it makes the omelet texture a bit creamier, but this is definitely a question of personal taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 250 g spinach
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • salt, pepper

How to Make It

  • Peel and chop up the onion.
  • Take a pan and fry the onion with a bit of olive oil.
  • Clean and chop up the mushrooms and add them to the pan.
  • Wash and chop up the bell pepper. Add the pieces to the pan and fry them.
  • Wash the spinach and carefully mix it in. Lower the heat.
  • In a separate bowl, add the eggs and the milk and whisk them.
  • Pour the egg-mix into the pan.
  • Add the spices.
  • Carefully stir the contents of the pan until the eggs have solidified.

Veggie Quiche

A quiche is a great dish whether you are participating in a brunch, a lunch, or are having a group of friends over. It can be prepared in advance and it is easy to make, even though the preparation does take a few hours. Below you will find the recipe for a simple veggie quiche. Of course, you can vary the vegetables you add – let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter how yours turned out!

Veggie quiche made with carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Ingredients Dough

  • 250 g flour (wheat, type 450 is fine)
  • 100 g ice-cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Making the Dough

  • Mix the flour with the ice-cold butter, the egg, and the salt. Slowly add the ice-water and mix until you have a ball of dough.
  • Tip: I actually cut the butter into small chunks and freeze it for a few hours – it really improves the dough.
  • Let the dough rest in the fridge for about an hour.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Ingredients Quiche

  • 400 g carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 broccoli
  • 200 g mushrooms
  • salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

Making the Filling

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into thin slices. Fry the slices in a pot or pan.
  • Wash the broccoli, cut it into small pieces, and steam them.
  • Cut the mushrooms and the zucchini into small pieces and fry them.
  • Put all the veggies into a big bowl. Season them with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Mix thoroughly.

Ingredients Sauce

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g cream
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 100 g crème fraiche
  • salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

Making the Sauce

  • Mix all ingredients together and whisk thoroughly.
  • Add salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Mix thoroughly.

Making the Quiche

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C. Grease a spring-form pan (24-26 cm in diameter).
  • Roll out the dough and line the spring-form pan with the dough. Make sure to pull up the dough up to the top of the pan.
  • Take a fork and poke holes into the dough.
  • Bake the dough in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Take the pan out, let it cool off for a few minutes.
  • Add the veggies and spread them evenly in the pan. Carefully pour the sauce on top and make sure to spread it so that all the veggies are covered.
  • Put the pan back in the oven and bake the quiche at 180° C for 45-50 minutes. Best eaten warm. Enjoy!