Soup: Grandson eating a fresh garden carrot. Trueheartgal.

A Simple Carrot Soup

Soup: Grandson eating a fresh garden carrot. Trueheartgal.

My sweet husband flew back to Missouri to visit his mother for a week and returned with a miserable cold. He always enjoys a yummy bowl of homemade soup, but when he is even the slightest bit ill, he yearns for soup like it is a magical elixir.

Enter California-based Heidi Swanson. This one woman whirlwind of creativity is a cookbook author, photographer, website publisher, shop curator and bestselling writer. She won a James Beard Award for Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen. Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, her latest book, was published last September.

I have a glut of cookbooks, some of which I rarely open, others which have stained and dog-eared pages of favorite recipes I return to often. I subscribe to Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks, and it has become one of those favorite spots I turn to when I am looking to cook something easy, wholesome and luscious.

So, when I was looking for an easy soup to make for my ailing husband, I found this one, using carrots, red curry paste and coconut milk. I am trying to cook vegetarian meals more and more often. Eating a vegetarian diet is healthier for both of us, it is healthier for the planet, and I disagree with the idea of killing animals. I still eat chicken every now and then, and I eat lots of  fish, but I am working to limit those as well.

A bunch of Farmer's Market carrots. Trueheartgal.

Soup: Grandson eating a fresh garden carrot. Trueheartgal.
A Simple Carrot Soup
Print Recipe
A very simple, easy, silky and delicious soup using very few ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Soup: Grandson eating a fresh garden carrot. Trueheartgal.
A Simple Carrot Soup
Print Recipe
A very simple, easy, silky and delicious soup using very few ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pan over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil (or butter) and onions. Stir until the onions are well-coated, and allow to sauté until translucent, a few minutes. Stir in the curry paste, and then the carrots. Allow to cook another minute or two, and then add the coconut milk, salt and water, adding more water to cover if needed. Allow to simmer until the carrots are tender, 10 - 15 minutes, and then puree using a hand blender until the soup is silky smooth.
  2. The next part is important (with any soup) - make any needed adjustments. Add more water if the consistency needs to be thinned out a bit (I didn't need to do anything). After that, taste for salt, adding more if needed.
  3. Add a great big squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Serve topped with whatever you have on hand. Heidi suggests adding something crunchy (almonds) and a lot of something green (micro greens and chopped cilantro). I only had cilantro on hand, and it was wonderful.
Recipe Notes

I can't wait to plant carrots in our garden this spring and make this soup for our grandkids after they pull up their sweet and tender harvest.

XO

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Eddie-Redmayne-The-Danish-Girl, The-Danish-Girl, Eddie-Redmayne, Best-Actor-Nominee, Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal

My Pick for Best Actor

As with every category, picking my favorite to the win the Oscar for the Actor in a Leading Role is tough, but not impossible. Read on and then tell me why I got it all wrong! This year’s Actor in a Leading Role Nominees are:

Bryan-Cranston-as-Dalton-Trumbo-in-his-Oscar-nominated-role. Oscars, Academy-Awards, Bryan-Cranston, Trumbo, Trueheartgal

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

The story of Hollywood Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s struggle to continue to save his career and support his family after being blacklisted in the late 1940’s.

Matt-Damon-in-his-Oscar-nominated-role-in-The-Martian, The-Martian, Matt-Damon, Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal, Best-Actor-Nominee

Matt Damon, The Martian

Astronaut and engineer Matt Watney, played by the uber-charismatic Matt Damon, is left behind on Mars during a space mission, and must find a way to survive long enough to be rescued.

Leonardo-diCaprio-in-his-Oscar-nominated-role-in-The-Revenant, The-Revenant, Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Best-Actor-Nominee, Trueheartgal

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Playing real-life hunter and trapper Hugh Glass, Leonardo DiCaprio barely speaks in this film that tells the story of his survival following a grisly bear mauling and being left for dead by the members of his expedition.

Michael-Fassbender-in-his-Oscar-nominated-role-as-Steve-Jobs. Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Michael-Fassbender, Best-Actor, Trueheartgal

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender brings an intense magnetic energy to the role of Steve Jobs in the film that uses the release of three new products to feature his personal failures and professional accomplishments.

Eddie-Redmayne-The-Danish-Girl, The-Danish-Girl, Eddie-Redmayne, Best-Actor-Nominee, Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

The story of Dutch artist Einar Wegener who, in the 1920’s, undergoes one of the first sexual reassignment surgeries.

Who gets my vote? Bryan Cranston. I know, I know, Leo is going to win (for a physically grueling performance, but one in which he pretty much just grunts, groans, and screams), but I loved every moment of Cranston’s portrayal of the dazzlingly articulate, brave, patriotic, funny and heroic man.

Here are my takes on Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.

Tell me why I’m wrong. In the meantime, can you click on one of the buttons below to share this? Ok, now you can tell me why I’m wrong, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

XO

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Oscars 2016: Best Supporting Actress

Alicia-Vikander-The-Danish-Girl, Oscars, Alicia-Vikander, Academy-Awards, Academy-Awards-2016, Trueheartgal

The countdown to the Oscars is on, and I am so excited for the fashion, (Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda and Charlize Theron never disappoint, and now we can add Lupita Wyong’o, and Alicia Vikander to that list of style champions), the clips of classic movies, the Red Carpet glamour, the awkward moments, Chris Rock as host, the whole shebang.

This year, the Actress in a Supporting Role Nominees are:

Jennifer Jason Leigh in her Oscar nominated role in The Hateful Eight, Jennifer-Jason-Leigh, Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards-2016, Trueheartgal

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

I didn’t see. Wouldn’t see it. Didn’t want to see it. I heard enough about the level of violence, and as much as I hate to avoid a nominated performance, I don’t want to see that much violence. In The New York Times’ A. O. Scott’s review of the film, he says that Jason Leigh’s character, Daisy, is a “scapegoat and punching bag” – ’nuff said.

Rooney Mara as Therese in her Oscar nominated role in Carol. Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Academy-Awards-2016, Best-Supporting-Actress, Spotlight, Trueheartgal

Rooney Mara, Carol

This is a lusciously filmed movie set in the early 1950’s about Therese, a young aspiring photographer, working in a fine department store during the  Christmas season, who meets Carol, a sophisticated, wealthy, beautiful married woman. The two share a deep connection and quickly fall in love with each other, something that could prove disastrous in that era. My problem with this performance is that I never believed it. I didn’t believe these two women –  Therese, played by Mara Rooney, and Carol, played by Cate Blanchett – shared any real connection, or understanding or passion. The dialogue is sparse and the drama is understated, and I know the movie is attempting to show us how the lovers were forced to conceal their feelings, but it was so concealed for me as to make it opaque.

Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer in the movie Spotlight. Rachel-McAdams, Spotlight, Oscars, Best-Supporting-Actress, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

This quiet, but powerful movie is basically a solid procedural, showing the Boston Globe’s team of investigative journalists, the “Spotlight” team, doing the slow dogged work of uncovering the Catholic church’s knowledge of and mishandling of scores of sexual abuse cases by priests. McAdams plays Sacha, a member of the Spotlight team who in addition to doing the tedious work of pouring over documents, also uses her keen listening skills to interview many of the now-grown male, often blue-collar victims. Sacha is also a Catholic from Boston, who still takes her grandmother to church every Sunday. Her performance made me believe in and root for this curious, smart, tenacious, professional journalist.

Alicia-Vikander-The-Danish-Girl, Oscars, Alicia-Vikander, Academy-Awards, Academy-Awards-2016, Trueheartgal

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Based on a true story, artist Einar Wegener (played by last year’s best actor Academy Award winner, Eddie Redmayne) undergoes one of the first-ever sex-change operations with support from his loving wife and fellow-artist, Alicia Vikander’s Gerda. Her performance is beautiful. She shows the anger Gerda feels as she has to sublimate her own desires and the pain she suffers as she learns to set her husband free to pursue the life he feels he was born to live. I felt Vikander’s performance grounded this film. She is earthy, sensual, angry, loving, sad, terrified and strong.

Kate-Winslet-in-Oscar-nominated-role-in-Steve-Jobs, Oscars, Kate-Winslet, Steve-Jobs, Academy-Awards-2016, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Marketing guru at Apple and Next, Joanna Hoffman, played by Kate Winslet, was also one of Steve Jobs’ confidants and one of the very few who could speak her truth to his power. The films tells the story of the hypothetical run up to three product launches over several years, so the scenes are pressure cookers of emotions and deadlines. Winslet is flawless, as always. Huffman grew up in Poland and the Soviet Union, and she nails a believable Eastern European accent. She is exasperated by Jobs (played by the fantastic Michael Fassbender) and his inability to compromise either in his close personal relationships, or in his desire to change the world, but she loves him and his unique genius. Winslet and Fassbender are electric together and she gives her character the brilliance, compassion, rage and camaraderie needed to make the role true.

My Pick?

Of course, I’d change the nominations a bit, and I’d nominate Alicia Vikander for her performance in Ex-Machina instead of The Danish Girl. Given the existing group, I have an extremely difficult time picking one over the other. This dilemma seems to be true for the Academy as well, as press reports this category as the most hotly contested of the group. Ultimately, I’d select Winslet.

Have you seen the films? What did you think of the performances? Did you see Hateful Eight? Your thoughts?

It’s nearly 70 degrees here, way, way too warm, but it is gorgeous. My miniature peach tree is bursting with buds and blossoms.

Blooming peach tree with bright pink blossoms.

What’s it like where you are?

If you like this post, please share it. Share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+ or any social media platform you like. And, I’d love to hear your comments and opinions below. Thank you!

XO

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