Q My mum has been advised to have fresh soups for meals. Please suggest a fuss-free recipe.
A Soups are easy to make – if there aren’t too many ingredients. Here’s a recipe for carrot soup that I quite enjoy:
Slice 2 small leeks and roughly chop 800g of carrots. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for about 3 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add carrots, 2 tsp of honey, a pinch of chilli flakes and one bay leaf. Sauté for 2 minutes and then pour in 2½ litres of good-quality vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then cover. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Discard the bay leaf and blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, drizzle cream or yogurt over and serve with garlic bread.
Q Please suggest an easy dessert recipe that looks impressive.
A There can’t be anything easier than a trifle pudding and if assembled well, it’ll look stunning. If you are a chocoholic, you’ll love this recipe:
Cut 12 good-quality chocolate brownies into cubes. Thaw a one-litre tub of your favourite chocolate ice cream, and slice a good amount of fresh strawberries or a mix of your favourite fruits. For added flavour, make a coffee syrup with 2 tbsp instant coffee powder, 1 tbsp sugar and ½ cup warm water. Mix until the sugar and coffee dissolve completely.
Once the syrup cools down to room temperature, add it to the ice cream and stir. For some crunch, chop up some walnuts or hazelnuts and shave some good-quality dark chocolate.
Now assemble the trifle. In a pretty dessert glass bowl, layer half the brownie cubes and drizzle half the coffee syrup over. Layer half the fruits and some whipped cream, if you’re not calorie-conscious. Repeat the layers and finish with chopped nuts and chocolate shavings. Cover with aluminium foil and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavours to develop. It’s definitely going to be a culinary showstopper!