Today, 3 February 2013, in UK is National Carrot Day. I sincerely ignored that there was a celebration for carrots and I learnt of it from the Abel&Cole calendar.
Apparently, the Carrot Day was founded in 2003 to celebrate the orange vegetable and all its nutritional attributes. From a Google search I found out that since the Middle Ages carrots have been used as ingredient to flavor recipes as, at that time, sugar and other sweeteners were rare and very expensive. This technique became then obsolete for several hundred years, but resurfaced in the 20th century, when during World War II, the British government rationed many luxury foods and household staples including sugar.
Besides that, carrots are really a super food. Rich in antioxidants, they contain vitamin A, folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese and other important minerals. They boost immune system, protect the body from certain types of cancer and are useful in treating a range of ailments, from poor night vision to anaemia, intestinal problems and stomach ulcers. Their medicinal properties were already known to the Greeks and Romans, they are in facts one of the most precious vegetables in a medicinal kitchen. They also play an important role in lowering unhealthy levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Being a great fan of carrots myself for both their goodness and healthy properties I have decided to cook them for lunch today using the ones that I received in my Abel&Cole box this week. A very quick, low cal and easy recipe: Carrot, Orange and Mint Soup. The recipe has been adapted from BBCGoodFood .
Carrot, Orange and Mint Soup
- 8 medium carrot(s) (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 2 large fresh root ginger (both pieces size of a thumb)
- 1.5 litre (s) hot water
- 2 orange(s) (juice of)
- fresh mint leaves, picked and finely chopped
- salt and pepper (optional)
- Gently fry the onion, ginger and garlic for about 10 minutes until very soft.
- Add in the carrots, stir everything around, add in the hot water and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the carrots are tender. Take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Strain the vegetables through a sieve set over a bowl. Reserve the liquid. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding enough of the strained liquid to make the mixture turn easily in the machine. S. Pour in the liquid and stir well to blend.
- Tip in the orange juice and mint and gently reheat the soup. Stir and taste to see if more salt is needed, then pour into warmed bowls.