spinach soup and flourless carrot cake

r is away and all i want to go do is go home and cook. work is slow and my back is hurting: i need to get out of office. i leave early, stop off at the Arsey Woman Shop (AWS) on e road for sage and nip into planet organic for some nuts (and an expensive face cream – 35 quid for some oils, basically – but they say you should spend your age so i am spot on. it smells nice too though of course i am mortified.)

i’d been thinking about what i wanted to cook all day and then i do it for two hours and it goes in a flash. i could have carried on but need to sit down and eat at some point. with all the tasting and nibbling while cooking, one is never hungry.

First, i bake the bread rolls. i use the bread maker (all that kneading is meant to be therapeutic but life is definitely too short and the kitchen definitely too clean) but then turn the dough out, knead it and leave it to rise again before putting it in the oven for 20 minutes. i use a mixture of granary and some weird smoked wholemeal flour (purchased at great expense in Waitrose, where else. why you want to smoke flour?? The rolls taste nice but not smoked, as far as i can tell).

not eaten much bread since the start of thing paleo thing but i’m trying to stay off fatty food because of my indigestion so hope that eating more carbs will help in the short term. it doesn’t really seem to make any difference but it does make it easier to tell doctors i’ve not been eating like a weirdo.

second I make the carrot ‘cake’. the cake is a blatant steal from elena’s pantry, except i halve the measures. i only use 2 eggs – trying to halve recipes that call for an odd number of eggs is the bane of my life and most baking recipes are made for families rather than two greedy people. i figured you could always substitute some other liquid if it turns out too dry. which it kind of did – it looked more like cake mix than batter which is not what it was like last time i made it. i also dispensed with coconut icing from the original recipe – it just looked a bit like glycerine hand cream. not too keen on that. also this time i use walnuts and grate the carrots on the fine grater. think pecans and coarse grating were actually better. the cake is awesome though, and i don’t think it tastes any worse than the carrot cake i used to make with flour. am tempted to put a mashed banana in it next time and dispense with the sweetener altogether. could work.

Then i make the soup to freeze. another steal from a blog with a bit of improvisation. i bought some young garlic from the AWS in a fit of spring enthusiasm and then didn’t know what to do with it. so i fry some onions and celery, add the garlic and let it all soften without browning before adding stock (had some home made stock in the freezer from last week) and simmering for 20 minutes. i put the spinach in and switch off the heat leaving it for a few minutes, then pure it in a blender. tastes garlicky but in a good way, and fresh and healthy. i had to stop myself from eating a bowlful before freezing it.


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