Carrots: My New Favorite in the Kitchen

My carrots are on their way out–actually have been for quite some time. Planted in the fall, these beauties have been hanging out for a while “in ground” until I summoned a need for them. Mind you, it’s supposed to be a little over 2 months to harvest, but as with all things in the garden, there is leeway. Lots.

If your carrots aren’t getting enough water, they might take an extra month. If they aren’t getting enough food, same idea. My carrots are very tolerant when it comes to these things because they have to be; I’m their gardener! But it’s not that big of a deal, really. I mean, over Easter we harvested a bunch of carrots and made carrot cake. A couple of weeks later we harvested a bunch for carrot soup, and they were all good. Some were a bit small due to overcrowding (not enough “hair cutting” on our part), but once we cut the greens off and cleaned the skins, we plopped them into a food processor and came up golden. 🙂

carrot soup with cream

So, since we like to experiment with our garden harvest, we tried carrot soup. Sampled some during a Mother’s Day luncheon and it was so delicious, I had to try my hand at making a bowl of my own. The results were mixed within the family–I loved it, my husband tolerated it, my son thought it tasted like curry and my daughter wrinkled her nose. Carrots aren’t her fave.

I think it was fabulous and will you let you be the judge for your household. It’s easy to make and can be altered with a range of flavorings–nutmeg, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, curry–the list of possibilities with this recipe is endless. The main thing to keep in mind is consistency. Do you like it creamy? Prefer it light and pure carrot? You can play around with this angle as well. My advice–try it. I thought it was divine!

Carrot Soup

1 TBSP olive oil

2 cups carrots, sliced

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped (red or scallion)

1 medium russet potato, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 14.5 oz. cans of vegetable broth (may substitute chicken)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp cumin

nutmeg, cayenne garlic powder & black pepper, to taste

In a large sauté pan, cook onion until translucent. Add carrots, bell pepper, potato, garlic, cumin and other spices along with broth and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Transfer in batches to a food processor or use hand blender to puree soup. If using a food processor, return soup to pan and add heavy cream. Warm over low heat for another 5 minutes. If using hand blender, add heavy cream after and cook on low for an additional 5 minutes.

simmer carrots for soup

This is the basic recipe. I added a dollop of cream on top when serving to lure my daughter into eating it, though it was to no avail. She only likes her carrots in cake form. But you can see how easy it is to add or delete ingredients and fine tune the flavors for your taste buds.

Personally, my next batch will be curried, while yet another will include sherry, tomatoes and thyme to create a lobster bisque feel. No matter how you prepare yours, you will fall in love with this one. Perfect for summer or fall!