I love these creamy soups, and especially when they are made with rich root vegetables.  This carrot soup is no exception.  It was rich and thick and hearty and I actually had it twice.  For Saturday lunch with a mortadella and provolone sandwich on crusty ciabata bread and again for Sunday night dinner with the Gruyère tart and salad.  It was excellent.  It really hit the spot and filled me up without making me feel like I had overeaten.  I was a bit afraid that it might be a bit on the sweet side but the cumin and coriander and bay leaves prevented that and it had just the right amount of sweetness.  I also felt that it might want the extra warmth of a little ginger so I grated some fresh ginger and added that as well and my family all liked it.  I think this soup would make a nice first course for a Thanksgiving or Christmas eve dinner.  At least I think it might find its way onto my holiday table.

The Gruyère tart was right up my alley.  To be totally honest, I hate eggs.  I have tried and tried over the years to eat eggs and I barely get them up to my mouth and as soon as I smell them my stomach starts to turn and I just can’t bring myself to eat them.  These kind of Quiche like tarts are about the only way I can actually get an egg down.  Maybe it’s because the other ingredients mask the smell or taste of the eggs but I do enjoy these.  Gruyère is one of my favorite cheese so I took to this tart right away. 

I thought that the hearty soup and rich tart needed something a bit lighter and the arugula salad seemed to fit that bill.  My family are not great fans of arugula.  I like it but do find that a salad of just arugula is a bit too bitter so I like to tame it with other greens.  My local lettuce farmer at the Little Italy farmers market here has just beautiful lettuces.  He had some incredibly fresh arugula and I picked up a nice Italian greens mix which went very well with the peppery arugula and the tart and tangy lemon dressy.  I think it would be perfect with any sandwich and crusty bread.

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