Autumn colours overwhelm me. The vibrancy and depth coupled with the clarity of the light at this time of year regularly makes me stop in my tracks to breathe in the scene and admire the show. It’s so fleeting here in the UK. It will only be a few weeks before it’s dark from 3.30pm to 8.00am and the skies bleak and grey in between times. So this last burst of spectacular life holds such significance, the colours blazing as the summer dies.
One of the best things about autumn is the return to soup. Over the summer months it’s too hot to make or eat the hearty soups that I love. But as September turns to October and the leaves start to turn, I find myself reaching for the soup pan once more.
This recipe is as simple or complex as you’d care to make it. Beyond carrots and stock, the ingredients can be collected from whatever you have lurking in your spice cupboard: any of those warming Asian spices that you have to hand. Or keep it simple with just a little salt, garlic and chilli.
MiniMunkie was helping with this particular batch. She’s also learning to count to ten. It’s totally adorable. So we got out ten spice jars so that the cooking became cross-curricular. Actually, I only had nine, so we also counted the salt, but it worked out fine.
We also played a little bit of English folk music – I always feel folky as Autumn comes round. There are 2 albums we’re loving at the moment here in the Munkie house hold.
Seth Lakeman’s Word Of Mouth is not as trad as I usually go for, but the kids love to dance to it. Grandpa Munkie is less than impressed too, saying that he thinks “Seth Lakeman” is a made up name to appeal to folk-music lovers. I have no idea. But I’m enjoying it, even though it’s more of an electric sound that I usually choose in folk music. Seth is coming to play locally at the end of October. I’m considering going, but you know how it is with going out. It sounds nice until you actually have to wash your face and put on clothes without snot stains or play doh marks. It all just becomes too much trouble when there is the whole of Pinterest to explore. I digress…
The other album is Fifty Verses from Melrose Quartet. I had never heard of them until this week, when this album appeared in my recommended music space on Amazon Prime Music. It’s much more traditional and Nancy Kerr is both a talented lyricist and amazing singer. She’ll have the hair standing up on your arms. If you’re popping in from Handmade Monday, I can recommend this as make-along music too!
So, we’re listening to music and chopping up the carrots and counting the jars to our hearts content. If you want to join in, the recipe is below.
Chicken stock to cover (use vegetable for a veggie-friendly soup)
Your own selection of spices
Salt to taste
- Chop up the carrots, add oil, and gently fry in a large stock pan until they begin to soften. Don’t let them brown or the soup will be bitter
- Shake your spices over and continue to fry for a minute, to get the aromas going. For the record, we used: 2tsps each of ginger, coriander and garlic; 1tsp each of chilli flakes, cumin and garam masala; and then a really generous shake each of yellow mustard seeds, black onion seeds and turmeric. But experiment with what you have around – you’ll find something that works for sure.
- Cover with stock and simmer gently until the carrots are soft.
- Blend with a stick blender – or alternatively put it through a food processor.
- Check the seasoning and adjust to taste
- Serve with chunky bread and a swirl or yoghurt or cream
- Or alternatively pour it all over the car park, your car, legs and shoes outside your church.