Purees are easy to make and satisfying to eat. This one has a slightly sweet taste because of the carrots, but adding more potatoes or mushrooms would bring an earthier flavour. Can be eaten hot as a meal or snack, or served cold as a dip for crackers or vegetable sticks.
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main)
Large portobello mushrooms (x2)
Vegetable stock (half a cube)
Milk (half a cup, or to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Cinnamon (to taste)
Nutmeg (to taste)
1. Roughly chop the carrots, mushrooms, potato and onion into chunks. Put the chopped onion in a saucepan and stir-fry with the oil on a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. If the edges of the onion start to brown, turn down the heat. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir-fry for another 5 minutes or so.
2. Add the chopped carrots and potato. The pan will be quite full – gently stir until the corners of the potato start to turn translucent.
3. Add 1 cup of water to the saucepan and half a vegetable stock cube. The water should not quite cover the vegetables – if it does, you run the risk of diluting the taste. Turn up the heat to medium, put the lid on the saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots and potato are soft enough to be stabbed by a chopstick. Stir occasionally.
4. Turn off the heat and blitz in the saucepan with a handheld blender until pureed. You can make it as chunky or as smooth as you like – I prefer it chunky.
5. Slowly stir in the milk using a spatula. About half a cup should give you a nice, thick puree – more and you will be entering potage (or possibly even soup) territory. Add cream or grated cheese if possible – they will only enhance the flavour.
6. Season to taste with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add some cumin if you’re feeling particularly daring. Serve with bread.
Acknowledgements: recipe courtesy of MiKa!