Autumn + Carrot Soup Recipe

Autumn is my favourite season of the year. Perhaps it is because, living in Canada, the seasons go from winter to summer to winter, with only a little bit of spring or autumn in between. Autumn seems to be such a short season here, and almost all of it is spent waiting for and preparing for the snow.
It is always so glazed over. The stores already have their christmas merchandise in. Autumn is like the middle child, forgotten in the rush. Perhaps that is why it is my favourite season. Because people rarely stop to notice the little things, the little changes that come with autumn, and because before they know it winter will have arrived.
I love to see the changing colours of the leaves, the cool of the evening, when it is still warm enough to go out for a midnight stroll without a jacket, but not so hot you feel as though you are stepping into a sauna as you do in summer. I love the crab apples that start to fall from the trees, I can spend hours gathering a bunch to bring home for some baking.
Here, you never quite know how long autumn will last. Snow can arrive anytime between the end of September and halloween. And because it can be so brief, that is why it is so magical.
October brings with it a time of celebration: thanksgiving, halloween, my birthday. Time to spend with friends and family and just enjoy before the stress of the christmas season hits.
The Canada geese start to leave, migrating for warmer climates, and new wildlife start to emerge. The baby deer have antlers now, and you can still spot them in the city as you walk around at night.
Autumn is beautiful.

Autumn also brings with it the cooler air, the lower temperatures, and the joy of fresh pumpkins to roast. And best of all, it brings with it my favourite carrot soup.
During the summer it is too hot for a soup, something that simmers away on the stove for a couple of hours if not my idea of fun when it is 50C+ outside, and pretty close to that inside. But on an autumn evening, a soup is a welcome delight.

When making soup, I like to use two different pans. One for the base vegetables and stock, and one for the extra bits.

Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

1lb carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 cup shallots
1 turnip, sliced
1 tbl paprika
1 tbl vegetable spice
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add 3/4 of the carrots and 1/2 of your turnip. Boil until soft.

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In a skillet, saute the onion, shallots, and the rest of the carrots and turnips. Add the spices and salt and pepper. I generally cook them until the onions and shallots are starting to brown.

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First put the boiled carrot mixture into the blender with a cup of the water you used to boil it in. Puree until smooth. Leave 2 cups worth of the carrot, turnip mixture out and set it to one side.

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Now add the sauteed onion mixture to the blender with another cup of water and puree until smooth.

Add the mixture back into a saucepan and add the  reserved veggies. Serve.

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That Protein Question

Anytime the topic of my vegetarianism comes up, the question I am faced with the most is that of protein.

Where do you get your protein?

How can you get enough protein?

It is a common misconception that you can only get the protein the human body needs from meat.  I remember being a small child and being told by my mother and stepmother that I needed to eat protein so that I would be healthy and strong. And the more protein I ate, the healthier I would grow up to be.

So what is protein?

Protein is an essential nutrient that is critical in building and repairing muscle tissue, as well as the maintenance of a lot of important bodily functions. Proteins consist of 20 different amino acids, 11 of which can be produced by our bodies naturally. The remaining 9 (known as essential amino acids) come from food. So it not the protein we need, but those 9 missing essential amino acids.

Are those 9 essential amino acids exclusive to meat?

They are not. The essential amino acids the human body needs are produced naturally by plants, and are found in meat because the animals we eat eat those plants. Not every plant contains all of the essential amino acids we need, but with a balanced and varied diet, it is more than possible to have all of them in your diet.

How much protein does a person need?

The World Health Organization recommends that just 5% of the calories you eat in a day should be protein. For an adult woman this translates as 29grams of protein assuming the 2300 calories a day is being followed. So what does 5% translate as? According to the World Health Organization, a single serving of potatoes contains 8% (9% for sweet potatoes) which is more than enough to fulfill your daily recommended intake.

Where can I find protein?

Protein can be found in most vegetables, specifically the leafy green variety such as kale or spinach. Legumes, beans, lentils, nuts are other fantastic sources of plant based protein, and are all more than sufficient to fulfill that daily recommended intake.

In short, my plant based diet is in no way lacking protein.

Here is a quick protein filled recipe for you to try:

Red Bean Sloppy Joes

What you need:

1 can of red beans

1/4 cup indian marsala powder

1/4 cup curry powder

1/4 cup tomato sauce

Bread Buns

Drain the red beans, and quickly rinse. Cook in a pan on a medium heat.

Add the spices and tomato sauce and stir in thoroughly.

Serve on bread buns.

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