Melissa’s Soup Toppings you’ll love

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  As a self-confessed soup lover, I am always looking for ways to add extra flavour, crunch and excitement to my soup. So here are 5 ways you can spruce up yours: 1. Halloumi Croutons:   not technically “croutons” as there’s no bread involved but these are delicious cubes of crispy fried halloumi. Simply chop, fry in a little butter or oil & cook to your desired crispiness.  Get the recipe. 2. Make a fridge raid herby drizzle:  Whizz up any herbs or left over salad leaves you’ve got that need some love with some olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice & a little salt in a blender & drizzle on.  Try this recipe. 3. Roast some veggies:  Depending on what soup you’re making, you might like to roast a little of what you’re using for ultimate texture & flavour on top. I love roasting kale or any discarded cauliflower leaves for extra crunch.  Try this. 4. A drizzle of olive oil/yoghurt/kefir:  I love adding extra swirls to my soups and particularly

Carrot Cake with Honey Yoghurt ‘Cream Cheese’

How To:

1. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/Gas mark 6 and line the base of two 23cm-diameter cake tins (for a whole cake) or a 20cm x 40cm baking tin (for a traybake) and grease the sides with butter.
2. In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds with the salt, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the maple syrup and melted butter, then stir in the carrots, raisins and walnuts before mixing with the dry ingredients in the large bowl.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins or tin, spreading it out evenly, and bake in the oven for 35 minutes until springy to the touch and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and place the tins on a wire rack to cool.
5. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Add the strained yoghurt or cream cheese/quark/goat’s curd mixture to a bowl and mix in the honey and vanilla extract. Taste, adding a tiny pinch of salt if needed, then leave in the fridge until the cakes have cooled down completely. Remove the cakes from the tins.
6. Spread the cooled cakes with the frosting. (Or freeze the cakes until needed, defrost, then add the frosting to serve.) Place one round cake on top of the other (cut into 15 slices) or slice the traybake into 30 small squares. Crush the additional walnuts and sprinkle over to decorate.
*If you’re making yoghurt ‘cream cheese’, line a sieve with two pieces of kitchen paper and place over a bowl. Pour in the yoghurt, cover with a plate and leave to strain in the fridge for 24 hours or longer. When the yoghurt has strained and thickened, mix with the rest of the frosting ingredients in step 5.
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