I guess the thing here is to decide on your persona for the cooking – or eating. You can do this European/English style, with variations on nutmeg, dill, leeks, cream. Or there is the South Asian, maybe even verging on Thai way, which is the path I’ve taken for today.
For three desiring a thermos lunch
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
ginger and garlic pureed/minced/pressed
chopped fresh chilli
ground coriander and cumin, maybe a teasp
oil or ghee for cooking
water maybe one litre
In a saucepan, gently fry the onion and carrots for 5 minutes or so, add the ginger, garlic, chilli and ground spices, stir for another minute or so, then add water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or so – I imagine if I were in a hurry I’d cut that down. Puree in whatever way you do that. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I wanted to leave this one really plain to see how that worked with a view to variations in future, so the only other addition was freshly chopped coriander when serving.
To keep the idea of the tastes of this one, I imagine variations would include adding plain yoghurt, and curry paste/powder instead of cumin and coriander.
By the way, there is an Indian idea that if you freshly grind coriander and cumin together and then keep them for a while, they will develop a new taste which won’t be quite the same as tossing in each spice at the time of cooking. I don’t think I’m up to being able to tell the difference, but nonetheless, I follow the tradition when it is called upon.
We took this to a Swiss cafe for lunch and the girl serving our drinks declared it to be ‘strong smelling’. I imagine that was a criticism, but maybe hereabouts that’s no bad thing. Could one get expelled from a coffee shop in Switzerland for the smell of one’s food? In fondue land? I hope not! All the people eating it gave it the thumbs up.