Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cookbook challenge #2

Lately I've been taking advantage of the harvest season and stocking my fridge with ridiculous amounts of produce. I find it hard to pass up a good deal, so when carrots were on sale at Farmer Clem's for $1.59 for 5 lbs, I bought some (even though I still have half a 2lb bag left from earlier in the summer). I don't eat a lot of carrots, typically.

Then on the weekend, I picked up some kale at the Wolfville Market - a big bundle of kale. Later that day I arrived on my mom's doorstep and she proceeded to laden me with produce from her garden, including more kale, a lot of kale (she pulled a whole plant up by it's roots - I could barely circle my arms around it).

And then I went apple-picking on the weekend, and picked 20 lbs of apples and pears. Not 10 lbs (which would've been more sensible - but when 10 lbs is $6, 20 lbs for $9 seems like a much better deal, right??) Yeah, yeah, I know now that 20 lbs as a bit ambitious. I have a big pot of applesauce + 10 lbs of apples in the fridge to prove it.
So my fridge is stuffed with carrots, kale and apples.

I've already made a batch of carrot muffins, and have been chopping up carrots to eat raw, etc. But I needed to make something that used up more than just a few at a time. Soup!

I scoured my cookbook collection to find a recipe that looked appealing. But here's what surprised me -- there weren't many inspiring recipes for carrots (exception: the Moosewood cookbook had a number of recipes that tempted me, but I wanted to try a different cookbook this time around). In fact there were very few carrot recipes at all! And even fewer recipes for kale, just so you know!

I was tempted to dip into my own cookbooks where I know there are several carrot soup recipes I'd like to try....but then that's not the point of this little cooking adventure, is it?

Recipe #2:
Carrot and Caraway Soup
from Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Supercook, p.84

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil -- I used grapeseed, because I grabbed the wrong bottle
  • 1 onion, chopped -- I used an onion fresh from my step-father's garden - thanks G!
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into cubes -- I used a couple new potatoes.
  • 500g (1 lb) of scraped carrots, sliced  -- That's a 5th of my carrot stash. YES!
  • 2-3 strips of lemon rind -- I used the zest from about half a lemon.
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1.2 L of water or light vegetable stock -- I used Knorr vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste -- Vegetable stock already has salt, so I didn't add any.
Garnish wish natural yogurt, coarse ground pepper and parsley.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, cover and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally - don't let it brown.
  • Add the potato, cover and cook for 3 minutes, then add the carrots, lemon rind, and caraway seeds. Stir well, athe add the water or vegetable stock. Bring to boil, cover and leave to cook gently for about 30 minutes or until the carrots are very tender. 
  • Puree the soup in a food processor (I'm wishing I had a had blender for this part; it's just too messy to do it in my upright blender). 
  • Ladle soup into bowls and swirl a teaspoon of yogurt on top of each. Garnish with pepper and parsley and serve. 
Makes about 4 servings. 
I'm quite impressed with this recipe. I must admit, I was a little concerned it was going to be too bland, but it's not. It would taste delicious with fresh garlic bread....perhaps tomorrow night.


makeworkproject said...

Sounds delicious!

Query: where do you go apple picking? I've never been!

Andrea said...

There are a number of U-Picks just outside of Wolfville. We did our U-picking at Elderkin's. You go into the farm market, pay for a bag and then wander around the orchard finding the variety of apples you like the best. You're encouraged to sample to make sure you're happy with what you pick. I think I bit into at least 10 apples - I like tart apples with lots of flavour.

sarah said...

Sounds tasty. I would be in heaven with all those carrots and all that kale. I actually think carrots are the vegetable I eat most of. I find them cheap, tasty, and versatile. They taste good raw and cooked, savoury and sweet. Enjoy using up your stash!!