Carrot and Squash Sun-soup

Winter's barely lifted her chilly head and stretched her spine and already I am struck with melancholy.

I am, and always will be a summer girl. I was born in summer, the months around my birthday ought to be filled with long warm holidays. Oh, hello southern hemisphere. August is the pits of winter is it? At least in a temperate climate.....never a snowflake, but plenty of grey skies and keening winds, and bouts of lashing rain (the water tank couldn't be better though, mucho de agua amigos!) (oh boy, am I ever ready to fly to beautiful Espanol, but my *travel* is not until spring). Waking up with notable swollen lymph nodes and a "frog" in my throut was just the cherry on my self-pity-sundae.

But you aren't here to read my soliloquy of moans right?
Rather, let me give you something to feast your eyes on, and fill your stomach with beams of sunshine and health! A recipe in a beautiful hue of orange, best consumed piping hot, with an undertone of those warming spices I love; ginger, chilli, mustard (okay, mustard is a seed, so sue me).
And because you use the steaming water, no nutrients are lost, all the lovely vitamins and minerals remain in the soup. The base of the soup is carrots and squash, two veges that pretty much contain all the vitamin A you need a day (that rhymed hehe), as well 10-20% of your daily vitamin B3,6,9, E and K, and a good dose of potassium, phosphorous and manganese!

Get this in your belly (and have a tissue handy, this will clear your nose!).

~serves 1~
~simply increase quantities to serve more~

1-2 large carrots, roughly cubed
1-1 1/2  cups cubed peeled squash
1/2-1 tsp sambal oelek (chilli paste)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp hot English mustard
a dash of cumin, if desired

In a small pot, bring a shallow layer (2-3 cm) of water to the boil.
Place carrot and squash in the steaming basket, into the pot with a lid on it.
Steam for 7 minutes or so, topping up water if needed. The carrot should be tender if you bite into it.
Place the steamed veggies and the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
With the blender running, pour in the boiling water until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like!
Serve in a your favourite bowl, and you could top with some chickpea croutons or serve with a nice hunk of bread.

Note: if you want to mellow the heat and amp up the creaminess, add some coconut cream while blending, or pour over the soup in a pretty swirl.

Question: Do you suffer the winter blues? Or do you appreciate the cold as a reason to bundle up and take long hot baths?


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