Creamy Cashew, Carrot & Cardamom Soup

Creamy Cashew, Carrot & Cardamom Soup
Yields 6
Carrots are a fantastic source of beta carotene and the bioavailability is really maximised when carrots are cooked and pureed. The cashews make this recipe super creamy, no one will believe it doesn’t contain any cream!
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1 large onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 cardamom pods
750g (1.5lb) carrots, diced
1.5 litres (50 fl oz) vegetable stock
120g (1 cup) cashews
1 lemon, to season
Turkish style mild chilli flakes to garnish
In a large pan, sauté the onion in the coconut oil for a few minutes, then add the cumin seeds and cardamom seeds and sauté further until the spices start to toast slightly and the onions become translucent.
Add the carrots and stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Once the stock is bubbling, add the cashews, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Once the carrots are cooked, allow the soup to cool, then blend to a very smooth consistency, making sure that all the cashew nuts are totally blended to make the soup creamy (this works best in a jug blender or you can use a stick blender and blend directly in the pan which may mean a slightly chunkier texture).
Reheat to desired temperature and to season with some lemon juice to taste.
To serve, ladle into a soup bowl and sprinkle with some Aleppo pepper (Turkish/Middle Eastern mild chilli flakes).

Baked Beetroot Falafel with Carrot & Sumac Salad

A random lone beetroot I had lurking in the fridge this week turned regular falafel into something altogether more vibrant. This is a really quick and easy recipe which you could also try with sweet potato, squash or any other earthy root vegetables. I wish I’d taken more pictures, I wasn’t planning a recipe for the blog but they turned out so well I wanted to share.

I served the falafel with a simple grated carrot salad seasoned with sesame oil and sumac and a bit of leftover kale salad I had in the fridge. 

I hope you try these at home, I’ll be adding them to my healthy party foods list!

Beetroot is high in antioxidants, aids liver detoxification and may contribute to lowering cholesterol. It can be roasted or eaten raw in salads and makes a delicious stamina enhancing juice. 

Baked Beetroot Falafel with Carrot & Sumac Salad
Serves 2
A light and vibrant alternative to regular falafel served with a middle-eastern inspired salad
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Beetroot Falafel
1 large beetroot (approx 300g), peeled and chopped
1 tin of butter beans (or other white beans/chickpeas), drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried herbs
zest of 1 lemon
A good pinch of salt
Carrot salad
2 large carrots (approx 400g), peeled and grated
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Juice of 2 clementines (or 1 orange)
1 tablespoon of sumac
A pinch of mild chilli flakes
A good pinch of salt
Beetroot falafel
Preheat oven to 180c/gas 4
Put the chopped beetroot, drained beans, flaxseeds, cumin, herbs, lemon zest and salt into a food processor fitted with an S blade and process until you get a smooth dough.
Roll the dough into balls (approx 2 tablespoons per ball) and place on a baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for up to 30mins until the outside of the falafel have a nice crust.
Carrot salad
In a mixing bowl, toss together the grated carrot with the sesame oil, clementine juice, sumac, chilli flakes and salt.
Serve the beetroot falafel warm or cold with the carrot salad. Would be great in a wrap or served with a wholegrain salad such as a herby quinoa salad.