I got given out to recently for having hard to get ingredients in my recipes. Hands up straight away, there is star anise in this one, NOT a show stopper if you don’t have it but it really elevates the carrot soup from a nice everyday flavoured soup to something altogether more delicious. Not that I think it is terribly difficult to get but I do get that you might not just have it handy!. I have always given any recipe a go even when I didn’t have absolutely everything on this list. When I was young, I couldn’t wait for my mum and dad to go out as the kitchen became my domain, I’d take out her recipe book (An old General Electric book which came with the cooker) and decide what delights I was going to make. The upside was being able to offer a plate of delicious biscuits or cake when they arrived home, the downside was often trying to hid the fact that I had used all the eggs in some disaster now hidden at the bottom of the bin. Years later my mum told she she would often be out with my dad wondering (worring) what on earth I would be up to in the kitchen while she was out.
Carrot Soup with Star Anise provides delicious flavour but also immune boosting nutrients, anti viral and anti fungal healing properties.
Carrot Soup with Star Anise
3 tablespoons butter
1 large chopped onion
2 whole star anise,
1 large garlic clove, chopped and mashed
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 heaped tbsp chopped Coriander
Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, star anise, bay leaves, and garlic. Sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and broth. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the star anise and blend the soup until very smooth; return to same pot.
Season well to taste and serve with Croque Monsieur Toasts
Perfect brought to work the next day too!
Croque Monsieur Toasts
Easy method – Pile thick slices of country bread high with grated gruyere, season well, sprinkle over a few dashes of worcester sauce and grill under a high heat until bubbly melting and deliciously gooey.
If you have the time and the inclination to make a bechamel based Croque Monsieur then read on!
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcester sauce
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 (¼”-thick) slices country bread, Gluten Free preferably lightly toasted
8oz. Gruyère cheese
Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
Whisk in flour and nutmeg and cook out for about 2 minutes.
Gently heat the milk then whisk in and work until smooth.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add the grated cheese and work until it has incorporated – continue to cook until it has thickened about 6 minutes.
Whisk in mustard,Worcester and season well.
Place 4 slices bread on a baking sheet. Thickly spread the cheese sauce over the bread and toast until the grill until the sauce is brown and bubbly – worth the effort as it is unbelievably yummy.
Read here if you would like my list of store cupboard essentials which I think make the difference to everyday recipes.