Cooking with Gemma: Tasty soup recipe is full of goodness

Gemma Parker.

Gemma Parker. - Credit: Archant © 2007

What is healthy, or even safe to eat?

We’re constantly flooded with information guiding us through a minefield of good and harmful foods. Contradictions and disingenuous comparisons seem rife.

Red wine is beneficial one week and damaging the next, carcinogenic cornflakes in one article then cereals as part of a balanced diet in another, coffee can now prevent heart disease whereas last year it was the opposite.

Social media, the internet and a 24-hour news culture results in a factual overload; we’re inundated with information. A few decades ago we wouldn’t have been exposed to the same volume as we are now. I have had to stop reading the food related articles as there is too much confusion and one could become obsessed with it.

At times journalists write opinionated pieces that they spin to sound like fact which adds to our problems. The pleasure of enjoying, cooking and eating good homemade could be ruined if we get to preoccupied with this.

It seems to me if you cook your own food using fresh ingredients you’re going in the right direction. I’ve given you a recipe below for a lovely soup with no added nasties!

Lightly Spiced Carrot Soup Serves 6

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2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

1 large onion, chopped

675g/1lb 8oz carrots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

¼ teaspoon chilli powder

900ml/1 ½ pints vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and carrots and cook with the lid on for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.

Add the spices and cook gently for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously.

Stir in the stock, bring to the boil, replace the lid and then simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

Puree the soup with a food blender or in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.