Sometimes a good cleanse of health is necessary not only for a clearer body, but for a clearer mind.

With so much eating out of late, a trip to the grocery store resulted in carrots staring at me with that 'pick me' look. 'I'm good for you, far better for you, then that fast food and sweets you've ingested far too much of recently.'

Alas, I gave in and bought them.

What better way to cleanse then soup. There's a punch of vegetables. A dousing of water. Herb's and spices in the stock. It's a fusion of ingredients with a delicious result. It's a science experiment gone right. 

My last month of living in Vancouver led me to take up eating soup for dinner for a month.

It was winter, rainy (every one who knows and lives in Vancouver knows this of the city) and I couldn’t afford to join a gym or run in the temperature’s outside my lovely apartment, so this was my attempt at health for my inside and outside.

This wee personal challenge resulted in trying out some new recipes and this is one I first attempted in the small kitchen of our wonderful apartment where a vintage poster of Breakfast at Tiffany's watched over our culinary skills.

Roasted Carrot and Spinach-Dumpling Soup
Adapted from: Donna Hay
Serves 8

1kg/2.2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
Bunch of spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 large tablespoon vegetable stock
3 cups water
1 cup cream
Herb dumplings
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 spinach leaf, roughly chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream

Place the chopped carrots on a tray and pour a tablespoon of olive oil over. Place in a preheated oven of 180°C/350F and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Meanwhile, take the finely chopped onion, scallions and celery and place in a saucepan with a tablespoon of oil on medium heat with the lid on. Stirring every few minutes to avoid the vegetables sticking and burning to the base.

Once the vegetables are soft, add the stock and water. Upon removing the carrots from the oven also add to the saucepan and cook over low heat with the lid slightly ajar for another 10 minutes.

 For the dumplings place all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour the milk and cream in. Stir until combined then remove from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured bench for approximately 2 minutes, by this point the dough should be smooth. Separate into 8 balls.

Take a stick blender and blend the ingredients into a smooth soup. Add the cream and stir to combine. Place all the dumplings into the pot and cover for approximately 6-8 minutes at which point the dumplings should be cooked through.

Season to taste and serve.

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