Monday, 9 December 2013

Parsnip, Carrot and Swede Soup and an Ozeri Review

Back in October (which seems such a long time ago now) I was lucky enough to be sent a frying pan to review by the lovely people at Moderna Housewares. It was such fun to make up that giant cookie recipe but this time I thought I'd go with something I've made before and already love - Parsnip Carrot and Swede Soup. This Ozeri electirc pepper grinder gave me the perfect excuse to make this soup again because I put quite a lot of corriander in it and having bought some seeds at the weekend at the BBC Good Food Show, I wanted to try them out as an alternative to the leaf I put in last time. I spoke to the lady at the spice stall who mentioned that seeds are normally put in curries but as my regular readers will know, I don't tend to stick to what is normally done, or the recipe for that matter. Hence why I wanted to try grinding other spices in a pepper mill!
The Ozeri Soft Touch Electric Pepper Grinder is really easy to use. I've never been one to put salt and pepper on my dinner before and the giant novelty one my Grandad proudly brings out each time we visit for dinner is too monstrous for me but this one is a good size without being dinky. It feels comfortable to hold, has a ceramic mechanism and you can adjust to grinding size from fine to coarse. I tried out some peppercorns in it first for my soup and they ground perfectly, then I tried the corriander seeds. I found that it did work, but they were crushed more than ground - perfect for an aromatic warming curry but I wanted something finer for my soup so I saved the crushed seeds and used corriander leaf instead. 

The soup was lovely - it is one of my favourites. The sweet yet savoury flavours of the main ingredients complement each other perfectly and make this really comforting. I think the corriander adds to the warming effect too because it is so aromatic and the tomato puree I throw in there adds a gorgeous tang. The first time I made this soup I used chicken stock but this time I tried something abit unusual. I made cider pulled pork last weekend and didn't want to throw away the cider that was left so I saved it and skimmed off the pork fat once it had chilled. Hey presto - cider pork stock! Of course, this made the soup taste different from the last time but everyone was really intrigued who saw me eating it at uni for lunch. They are getting used to my food experiments now!
  So the Ozeri pepper grinder. Here's what I thought overall.

What I particularly liked:
  • The sleek design - It isn't bulky or garish for a kitchen item and it fits nicely in your hand. The power button is ergonomically placed and there is no strain to press it.
  • The transparent compartment - It is good to be able to see how much material you have left before you need to top up. No chance of missing out on seasonings this way, unless you forget to buy more once you get low that is!
  • The adjustable grinding size - this is my favourite feature because you can change it depending on what you are milling and what the end purpose is. You don't want massive great chunks of salt all over your dinner but then making powder from cloves or dried chillis wouldn't be too useful either.

What I thought could be better:
  • The colour - yes, black is discreet but I like a choice of colours and I've mentioned before that my favourite colour is red. Hey, it's just my opinion and I'm firmly in the camp that if something works just as well in a prettier design then there is nothing wrong with choosing the prettier option.
  • The batteries - it seems a bit unfair to have to buy the batteries separately. If you are really excited to be trying out your new purchase and didn't realise it didn't come with the necessary four AA batteries you'd have to scrabble round to find some like I did or else be gutted that you had to wait to get to the shops again.
  • The locking mechanism - this works fine and it is easy but it could be marked a little clearer on the side is all I'm saying. Or maybe that's just me?


Overall this is a good product and yes, I'd recommend it. Now here's that recipe for a perfect warming winter soup!


print recipe

Parsnip, Carrot and Swede Soup
A warming wintery root veg soup packed full of goodness but so easy to make. Add more fluid depnding on how thick you like soups.
Ingredients
  • 2 parsnips, mediumq
  • 2 carrots, medium
  • Half a swede
  • A good squeeze tomato puree
  • 1 tsp garlic puree
  • A good splash worcestershire sauce
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • Corriander leaf (or ground), to taste
  • 1.5 pints chicken/veg stock or leftover cooking cider
  • 1 large onion
Instructions
1. If using a pressure cooker, peel and chop the veg and put everything in the pan. Seal on the lid, bring to high pressure of a high heat, time five mins and reduce heat by half. Once done, cool under running water to remove pressure, blend and serve.2. If using a saucepan, peel and chop the veg. Soften in a little olive or sunflower oil then add the rest of the ingredients. 3. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20ish mins until everything is soft, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat, cool a little and blend. Add more fluid if desired.

As always, all opinions are my own. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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