Carrot Soup, Carrot Soup, and more Carrot Soup.

This years crop of carrots has been the best yet.  With most of the vegetable garden put to bed for the winter,  I dug up half of my carrot crop. carrots2

Trimmed the tops and gave them a fast hose cleaning.

A couple of months ago I tested out a few carrot soup recipes.  And today I set out to turn a pile of carrots into carrot soup to put into my freezer.

The three recipes I made are: Curried Carrot Soup, courtesy of Rachael Ray, Roasted Carrot Soup, from Donna Hay magazine, and Moroccan Carrot Soup,  from A Sweet Spoonful.  For the most part I follow recipes, but I make small changes as I go based on my ingredients on hand and my personal likes.  The recipes are only a guide line.


The smells coming from my kitchen today where fantastic.  From the sweet smell of freshly dug carrots to roasting onions, to fennel sautéing in olive oil.   And then there is the smell of curry.


roasted2I start with Roasted Carrot Soup as it needs to roast in the oven for at least 30 minutes.   You roast the carrots, an onion and garlic lightly coated in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin.  






After about 45 minutes in a 350 oven the carrots are roasted and tender. 






roasted6This is combined with vegetable stock and chicken stock in a large pot and pureed with an immersion blender.   Add a cup of sour cream and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.   Salt and pepper to taste.






After cooling, I package for the freezer in 2 and 2 1/2 cup containers for use later.






The next recipe is the Curried Carrot Soupcurreyed2

This is similar to the first recipe except the carrots, and onions are sautéed and simmered in broth instead of roasted.







This recipe has the most spices going on.  I cut down a bit on the amount of curry and switched the cayenne pepper to chipotle pepper.






Again the soup is processed with an immersion blender and simmered again with the addition of sour cream.






While this may look like the roasted carrot soup, one taste and you will not mix them up.  This is spicy, this is hot.  This soup has kick to it.   Because not everyone likes as much heat as I do, next time I’ll cut the pepper amount in half.



And now on to the Moroccan Carrot Soup.  


moroccan1This soup has more complex flavorings with the addition of sweet potatoes, and an apple added to the carrots.   And a dash  of lemon juice at the end.







But we start by sautéing fennel seeds in olive oil, then add the carrots, apple, sweet potato and sauté them as well for a few minutes.





Then like the others, vegetable and chicken stock is added and the soup is simmered until all vegetables are tender.






Remove the bay leaf and puree with my stick blender until smooth.  Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. 

Cool and package for freezer.



So now I have enough carrot soup in the freezer to get through to next carrot season.carrotsall

Cranberry Carrot Salad with Lemon and Honey

carrot-salad (14) 

cranberry carrot salad photo by vsimon

Do you need a super quick crunchy salad? Perfect for dinner, or a brown bag lunch?

The simplest recipes are often the best. If you are short on time and just want the recipe, skip the middle and go to the bottom of the post. That is the simplest way. You could be eating this in five minutes.

But keep reading if you want info on the ingredients.


If you buy shredded carrots, this mixes up in just a few minutes. Sweet, tart, and lively lemon flavor.

I like to keep a bag on hand. They hold up well, and are easy additions to soups, green salads, and even muffins.

Organic carrots

We can get shredded organic carrots in our market. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website publishes a list of produce that has the highest, and lowest levels of pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen is the most likely to have high levels, and EWG recommends you by these items organic. EWG also publishes the Clean 15, produce that is least likely to have high pesticide levels. Buying organic doesn’t matter so much here.

You can print a wallet sized reference to take with you to the store. Carrots are #11 on the Dirty Dozen list.


Does a cranberry a day keep the doctor away? No, you probably need to eat  more than one. But a serving a day offers many health benefits.


I like to use organic lemons because I am using the outside, the part that would be sprayed with pesticides. Organic lemons are smaller than regular lemons, so you might need two here.

Also, organic lemons are not waxed. According the The World’s Healthiest Foods web site, sometimes the wax is mixed with casein, a protein in milk. This would be a very low amount, but might be important to know if you have a severe milk allergy.

Lemon Zest

At my house, if a dish has fresh lemon juice, it has zest too.  I never miss the happy opportunity to inhale the fresh scent of lemon zest. You can smell it across the room, but it is even better right under your nose.

A microplane makes swift work of zesting the peel. Personally, I don’t measure the zest and use all of it, from the whole lemon. As you probably can guess, I can’t get too much lemon zest.

If you are using a different tool to zest, be sure to catch just the outer yellow rind. The white pith is unpleasantly bitter.

Cranberry Carrot Salad

serves 4 metric measures
4 cups shredded carrots 360 gm
½ cup dried cranberries 75 gm
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 45 ml
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest weightless?
2 tablespoons honey 30 ml

Stir it all together until it glistens.

Serve right away if you like chewy cranberries.

Store in the fridge and serve the next day if you like plump, soft cranberries.

BTW, lemon juice is a good source of citrate. Helpful to prevent kidney stones. Maybe a lemon a day keeps the doctor away too.

PS I am changing the subject now. This is so cool! Bon Appetit magazine is holding a blogger Holiday Bake-Off. I have entered Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy. Wouldn’t you love to see a gluten free, dairy free winner?

There are several categories, including cakes, pies, custards, cookies, more. If you are a blogger, add your creations at BA Holiday Bake-Off.

Everyone can vote for your favorite in each category. I would be honored to receive your vote.