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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look at These F***ing Carrots!

I have not been doing much of actual cooking lately, the type of cooking where you combine a list of ingredients and the mix of their different tastes, textures and flavors make something more than the mere sum of the parts. But June Gloom - a weather pattern in southern California which brings weeks of cloudy, drizzly, cool days - has been getting me down. After seven years in Arizona, two weeks without sunshine are definitely giving me seasonal depression symptoms. So I decided to cook myself a soup, with spring ingredients to warm my old bones. How about carrot soup? Why not?

A quick search of the interwebs lead me to this excitingly looking Carrot-Ginger-Lemon soup. And after the acquisition of this beautiful bunch of carrots from the Farmer's Market I was all set to go.

Sometimes recipes drive me crazy. Now, I understand that ingredients should be in certain proportions but if the recipe asks for 1 1/2 cups of onion what are you supposed to do with the 1/3 unused onion you are left with? Or what are you to do with the 1/2 red pepper left over from the recipe which asks for 1/2 cup of chopped pepper? I much prefer recipes which ask for 1 onion or one pepper or two tomatoes, and of course the taste will vary a bit every time you make the recipe but, for a soup, is that so crucial? Anyways, here is the recipe is re-written in whole ingredients:

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon
1/4 C butter
1 medium/big onion, chopped
1 generous Tbs finely chopped ginger
1-2 tsp finely chopped garlic
the peel of 1 lemon, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 C sliced carrots
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
3-4 C stock (chicken or veggie)

For garnish: yogurt/sour cream and boiled brown rice
Yields: 4-6 servings

Saute onions in butter for 4 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute another 2 minutes. Add carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel and saute another minute. Add the stock and boil till carrots are tender (~20 minutes). Pure in batches in blender and return to pot. Bring to simmer, add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and a bit of black pepper. Serve with yogut or sour cream. I added about half a cup of brown rice to give it more substance too - it works great! This soup is fantastic both hot or cold. After a day the ginger lends it a bit of spiciness and the flavors have blended deliciously. A fantastic entry into spring! Yum!

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