Tag Archives: carrots

Two soups to make right now.


The garden and the farmer’s market are still loaded with lots of goodies.  I have two favorite recipes I like to make in October that use ingredients that are super fresh right now.

Celeriac, also known as celery root, has a flavor similar to celery but comes in root ball form rather than a stalk like celery.  It’s pretty ugly out of the garden, but so great in a fall soup.  And I’m happy to report it’s a cinch to grow.

This is what the celeriac looks like after I've significantly cleaned it, but not yet peeled it.

I first discovered celeriac in a CSA box a few years ago, wasn’t sure what to do with it at first.  It’s delicious in a slaw or roasted, but my favorite way is in a soup.  Google “celery root soup” and you’ll find a slew of simlar-ish recipes from the likes of Oprah to the folks at Joy of Kosher.  There are literally hundreds of great recipes at the push of a button.

I’m sharing an un-recipe… in other words, this is how I make it but I don’t really measure and sometimes I throw in other stuff.  But it’s a method that works and is always good.

Fall Celariac Soup  A Gracious Garden

In a pot, saute cubed celeriac (celery root) and diced onion in a bit of butter or olive oil.  When lightly cooked, add diced potato, diced green apple, a large container of chicken broth, and fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme or tarragon).  Bring to a boil, then set to simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.  Using an immersion blender (or whatever blending device is available) blend soup in batches until smooth.  Return to pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  A drizzle of olive oil and a few croutons make a great garnish to this bowl of fall flavor.

The second recipe I’m sharing is for a rich and creamy carrot soup that utilizes carrots, onions, potato and rosemary from the garden or farmer’s market.  I love this soup on a chilly fall day with some crusty bread.  Very comforting.  I’ve made it without the cream before and since the potato adds a starchy creaminess, it is also good that way.   Though I admit I prefer it with the cream, it’s just so delicious.

Creamy Carrot Soup  Taste of Home
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups sliced carrots (1/4 inch thick)
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (I use fresh rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender.  Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Cool 15 minutes.  Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return all to the saucepan; add cream, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat until heated through.  Yield: 6-8 servings (2 1/2 quarts)

Advertisements

Garden to Table: Chickpea Salad & Sweet-Sour Coleslaw


It’s the second to last day of March (a month that was more lion than lamb) and I’m kicking off my Garden to Table series with two delicious side dishes.  I have, in fact, harvested some parsley and basil from my indoor garden.  While they are a drop in the bucket of what will inevitably be an herb filled growing season, they are so very welcome!  I’m thrilled to share this dish with you as it is absolutely delicious. 

Simple and delicious.

Bon Appetit readers will recognize this recipe from the most current issue of the magazine, April 2011.  I couldn’t resist such a simple but satisfying example of how even the most meager use of fresh herbs can dress up something like a chickpea in way that makes it sing.

Basil leaves of the bush basil plant I started in February.

Parsley, plants are still small but there are enough leaves to add flavor to this dish.

Who knew chickpeas could be so satisfying? Notice how the fresh herbs punctuate this dish.

 

Here is where you can find the chickpea recipe:  Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs.

The second item I used today from my garden was carrots.  Carrots?  In March?  Why, yes.  It’s a fact that carrots, if stored properly, can remain sweet, crispy and fresh for months… in this case half a year.  I only had a few left so I shredded them and put them into a crunchy Asian style coleslaw.  I learned to make this coleslaw using a Betty Crocker cookbook.  It works every time, even when I’m missing an ingredient here or there.  Today I was short the green pepper, so I just left that out.

Carrots harvested in September become March's coleslaw.

These two side dishes will be served tonight alongside some grilled Italian sausages.  It’s pretty cold outside–mid-30’s!–but that doesn’t stop a true Wisconsinite from grilling sausages.  It wouldn’t stop me from grilling veggies either! 

There’s no reason a gardener can’t infuse dishes with homegrown goodness year round.  It requires planning, but not so much to be an inconvenience.  And sometimes serendipity plays a role as well.  Things just fall into place once in a while and an ingredient presents itself at just the right time.  (I didn’t remember I had those carrots!  But I was sure happy to find them this morning when trying to figure out what to do with half of a cabbage.)

Since Betty doesn’t share her coleslaw recipe online, I’ve typed it out for you here.  It’s so good!

Sweet-and-Sour Coleslaw
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook Bridal Edition 2001

1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded (4 cups)
1 large carrot, finely shredded (1 cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
4 medium green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine, white vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Place cabbage, carrot, bell pepper and onions in large glass or plastic bowl.
2. Shake remaining ingredients in tightly covered container.  Pour over vegetables; stir.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, stirring several times, until chilled.  Serve with slotted spoon.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Happy Cooking!  And don’t be shy if you have recipes or ideas to share throughout the season.  I welcome links to recipes in the comments area or at my Twitter account @AGraciousGarden.