The wind is howling outside. The rain slashes against the windows.
I am sitting in my warm living room sunk deep into the huge read couch in the living room. A few aroma candles flicker on the table next to me and I am deep into Bill Clinton's ...
... book, My Life!
I reach out for my cosy "feel-good" sweatshirt. You know the one we all have and always wear, hate to put it in the wash because a day without it is unimaginable. Exactly that one! Suddenly I hear it. A distant rumbling. Was that thunder? Probably. There it is again. No, that is not thunder it's coming from inside. It gets a bit louder and this time I feel it too.
The very familiar tummy rumbles. Well it is almost time for dinner. But slogging in the kitchen does not appeal to me today. I want to get back to my book but still have a warm, soul-satisfying and hunger-killing meal.
My refrigerator tells me I have to be extremely creative to serve up that kind of meal today. Well, hey, creativity is my middle name and I take out what I find.
What I do find is a lot of ginger that needs to be used. Why do I have all that ginger? Oh yes I remember! Rosie is the host of this month's Jihva for Ingredients and she chose a lovely ingredient to use - Ginger. I guess when I read that I went out and decided to buy out the grocery store!!
Ginger is incredibly aromatic, pungent and full of flavor. It zests up foods and is extensively used all over the world. You will find it in the fresh produce section of the grocery store and it is available throughout the year.
Ginger is a native to southeastern Asia, where this wonderful spicy herb is used in the regional cuisines creating delectable recipes enjoyed throughout the world. However, it is not only limited to this region or Asian cuisine. Ginger is a versatile spice and can be used in many types of cuisine - sweet and savory.
The spice ginger is actually the underground rhizome of the ginger plant and botanically referred to as Zingiber officinale. The plant's botanical name is thought to be derived from its Sanskrit name "singabera" which means "horn shaped," which is exactly the outer characteristic of ginger.
Depending on the type of ginger, the flesh can be yellow, white or red in color. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young.
Today the top producers of this exceptional spice are India, Jamaica, Indonesia and Australia.
Ginger is actually the ultimate in healthy eating. It warms the internal organs, eases depression, and cures ailments from colds to nausea.
In the Indian Ayurvedic medicine, great emphasis is placed on the healing powers of foods, herbs and spices and each dish is planned with medicinal benefits in mind.
Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in relieving symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Ginger is very often used in herbal medicine and contains a substance that promotes the elmination of intestinal gas. This wonder spice also possesses many therapeutic properties. This includes antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory effects.
Selecting and Storing
Choose fresh ginger over the dried form. Fresh ginger truly brings the strong robust flavor to your dishes. Ground ginger makes a smoother curry paste. Make sure that the ginger is firm, smooth and and free from mold. Ginger can be purchased in two forms - mature and young. Mature ginger is more widely available and has a tougher outer skin, which needs to be peeled. The younger type is normally only available in Asian markets, is delicate and does not require peeling.
Fresh unpeeled ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. When stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months.
Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Alternatively, you can store it in the refrigerator where it will last for about one year.
When frying, use chopped ginger over crushed as this creates a wider surface for the oil to penetrate.
A unique way of storing ginger is to bury it in sand. It can be used as required and is said to continue to grow in the meantime, giving you a continuous supply.
More on ginger here.
I found organic carrots, sour cream and organic lemons too. Off to work I went.
600g carrots - peeled and cut into bite size cubes.
1 large onion - chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger - finely chopped
25g unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic - minced
675 ml stock
finely grated zest of one lemon
55ml sour cream
fresh chives - chopped
Melt butter in a large heavy pot. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until soft. Put in the ginger and garlic and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the chopped carrots to the pot and sauté for a few minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until carrots are tender.
In a small bowl combine the sour cream and the grated lemon rest. Cover and cool in the fridge.
Allow the soup to cool, then pureé the soup. Return the soup to the heat and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a quick boil. Just before serving add some more fresh ginger.
Pour the soup in bowls and place a dollop of the lemon cream in the middle of the soup. Garnish with chives.
This is a spicy, aromatic and wonderfully flavorful soup. Forget any carrot soup you have tasted before. The ginger combined with the tangy lemon cream brings bursts of different tastes to your senses.
Soeren ladled bowlfuls of the soup and could not get enough. Healthy and nutritious all the way. Tom was struck by the delectable harmony of aromas. Brings joy to watch them enjoy something that was so easy to make.
And that rumble? Oh it stopped complaining at the first spoonful.
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