Orange and carrot soup is solid, flavorful and ready in minutes. It is a perfect dish to bring some sunshine on cold winter days, writes food columnist Jan Main.
By JAN MAIN
It is no coincidence that the harshest winter months, January and February, have an abundance of citrus fruits: clementines, navel oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, grapefruits and lemons, to add zippers to our cooking, vitamins to our well-being and sunshine to gloomy days.
Use the whole fruit, both the skin and the juice to maximize the taste in cooking. Of course, the skin is an integral part of jam made historically from Seville oranges in January.
However, peels from any citrus fruit, but especially oranges and lemons, can be grated, wrapped in plastic wrap and then stored in a jar in the fridge or freezer to add the peel to your recipes.
If you have the cracked rind on hand, you can add it automatically to soups, chicken, fish and baking recipes.
Likewise, the squeezed citrus juice is an integral part of vinaigrette (recipe below) marinades and baking.
Let nothing go to waste. Both the peel and the juice give it an invigorating spice, that splash of sunshine!
Carrot and orange soup
This simple soup requires plain carrot, a source of fiber, carotene and vitamin C, topped with orange to make a hearty, flavorful soup ready in minutes for the lunch thermos, or just as well at home, for a special dinner .
2 lbs (1 kg) carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped. About 6 large carrots
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 bay leaf
1L (4 cups) chicken stock
2 cups (500 ml) water
1 orange, washed and peeled with vegetable peels
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) fresh black pepper and ground ginger
1 large can (354 ml) evaporated milk
Tip: Evaporated milk has twice as much calcium as milk and the creamy quality of whipped cream without any of the fat.
Add carrots, onions, celery, bay leaf, chicken stock and orange peel to a large stainless steel pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the carrots are very tender for about 25 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Puree soup in blender until smooth; add salt, pepper, ginger and evaporated milk. Puree until well blended.
Serve immediately garnished with a blob of plain yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkle of grated orange peel.
Alternatively, cover and refrigerate until serving. Keeps refrigerated for up to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage in freezer containers. Makes about 10 cups (2.25 L), about 8 generous servings.
Orange walnut bread
This classic is wonderfully added to a packed lunch or to a cup of tea in the afternoon. It is a natural snack cut into thin slices and served with your favorite cheese.
1 cup (250 ml) orange juice
2 tablespoons (25 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 cup (250 ml) raisins, chopped
2 tablespoons (25 ml) grated orange peel
2 cups (500 ml) universal flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) each, baking powder and salt
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) Line the 9 x 5 (2L) loaf pan with parchment paper.
Beat eggs, orange juice, vegetable oil and vanilla together. Stir in raisins and orange peel.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar.
Stir liquid ingredients into the flour mixture just until it is moistened. Fold walnuts in.
Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Smooth to level. Bag ca. 50-55 minutes, or until toothpicks inserted in the center come out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut once cooled. Makes about 16 slices.
This salad dressing is ideal for winter root vegetables such as blanched carrots, boiled beets or a spinach salad with added clementine segments, almonds and streaks of red pepper.
It is also a great marinade for chicken or fish.
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons (25 ml) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 ml) grated orange peel
1 clove chopped garlic
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) fresh black pepper
Combine vegetable oil, orange juice, honey, orange peel, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until well blended.
Pour into a glass container and refrigerate until needed. Lasts for up to 1 week. Gives 1 ½ (375 ml).