I could barely pull out the Pumpkin Maple Dinner Rolls we had put in the freezer as containers and plastic bags of gluten-free baking tumbled over what I really wanted to eat with my soup today. I guess just having three of us in the house (two during the week) makes it a little difficult to get through all the cookies and brownies, muffins and then dinners, which we always seem to make excess of.
And then just last week, with the mid-January blues getting to us and forcing us to get out of the house, somehow, any way, we stepped off the ferry and drove to Vancouver for the Gluten Free Expo. Needless to say, we brought home an even greater selection of baked goods, gluten-free protein bars, chips and crackers, but proving to be just too much to be consumed in one or two evenings - into the freezer they went as well.
It was amazing how busy the convention was; tickets were sold out as soon as we got there, and there was a two hour wait for those who had already bought tickets. People who excitedly rushed up to the front desk with tickets bought online were greeted with an offer for a rebate, cash back for their purchase and time spent. However no one seemed to grumble unhappily, perhaps their bellies were content with the aversion to wheat - no upsets there: happy bodies, happy minds.
With the promise of different food options, and new substitutes for a gluten free girl, just behind those closed doors, we decided to head off for lunch before gathering a new sense of purpose to peruse the aisles of the expo - bag in one hand to be filled with samples.
Everyone eagerly approached tables, some pushing to be handed a gluten-free brownie cut and placed into a paper muffin cup first, while others grabbed at pamphlets before stopping in their tracks to read the small information printed on it. One woman, as I passed by her table with watchful eyes and just as I glanced at the selection of products lined neatly along the front of the table, caught me with a quick smile and leaned forward,
"Let me tell you about this product," she enticed,
"You're a growing girl, and you need fibre in your diet,"
How did she know? I wondered to myself, How does she already seem to know me so well, as she continued, labelling things which applied to me.
"You have a craving for protein," She also offered, and held up the product, a protein bar with 25 g of fibre.
"Come back and buy some with your mum," She whispered.
How did she do that? How was she able to get so personal in such a small amount of time, luring me in, connecting with me, and undoubtedly making me feel as if I had to return. I hurried past her table as I tried to return back to where mum was, head down and avoiding eye contact.
Later on, as the end of the expo neared, one aisle was increasingly filling up with more people, the promise of free gluten-free goods a certain lure. One table stood out as one man handed out whole loaves of bread and packages containing four large muffins, a very generous offer compared to the thumb-sized cookies given by neighbouring tables. Another popular table was serving gluten free noodles with the customer's choice of sauces, either sweet, spicy, or peanut, however as we passed by, their stocks were empty and they had already begun to pack up. It must have been the only table which we saw as completely empty by the time we got there - the popular demand for something savoury had overwhelmed them.
I felt like that today, overwhelmed by the sweetness of so many baked goods, especially after a Berry Cheesecake which mum made for supper last night - using gluten free granola ground with butter and walnuts for the base. Then, after hot chocolates with mum and dad this morning, I was craving vegetables and spices, and the bright colours of fresh produce.
Sweet Cumin Carrot Soup
Print recipe here.
A touch of honey added to the warmth and richness of cumin seeds with the smooth carrot elements create a soup that is both hearty (just the right ingredients for an energy boosting soup) and comforting for those rainy, cold days - or any day really.
This ultimate comfort dinner soup can be chased down with a Pumpkin Maple Dinner Roll, buttered and topped with a chunk of cheese.
I love the rich colour of this soup, which just screams out as being healthy and full of vital nutrients and antioxidants. These carrots are high in carotenoids, which is also found to reduce the risk of diabetes - and increase how much you can see at night!
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced finely
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
approximately 3 cups coarsely chopped carrots, or baby carrots
1 tbsp honey
6 cups vegetable stock
4 spoonfuls sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic, cumin, and salt. Stir until softened, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and honey.
Pour in stock and bring stovetop to a boil. Reduce heat slightly; cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, this should take approximately 25 minutes.
In batches of 2 or 3, purée the soup mixture in a blender until smooth. Careful, the heat may make the mixture bubble while blending, so hold the lid on tight.
For a thinner soup, strain before adding more water, or just spoon the soup into bowls as is.
Garnish with sour cream and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.
Labels: carrot, carrots, cumin, dinner, fall, garlic, gluten free, honey, lunch, onion, soup, warm, winter