January is National Soup Month. Tuesday's S/O/L/E Food Day. I bring you: Carrot Soup

  In honor of January being National Soup Month -- and it being S/O/L/E Food Tuesday; I bring you five soups.

On the menu today:

  1. Carrot Soup;
  2. Tuscan Tomato Soup;
  3. Parsnip and Pear Soup;
  4. Potato Leek Soup; and
  5. Mulligatawny.

First: Our star: Chantenay Carrot Soup

I first had this Carrot Soup at my mother’s house. It is delicious, stores well, and is very satisfying. I made it with Chantenay Carrots (click the link to read more about them) one summer when they were available at the Farmer’s Market or Savenor’s, forget which. Chantenays are heirloom varietal that are so naturally sweet, you would swear someone added sugar to them when you taste them cooked. Here is a seed link if someone wants to grow some for me!

organic red carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random Carrot and Soup Trivia:

  • Carrots are native to Afghanistan where they originally were cultivated and grown in every color but orange.
  • For an interesting carrot dressing see Mark Vogel's recipe here. Mark writes the Food for Thought column on Chef James Ehler's FoodReference.com site (LDG approved!). The chefs and the site share encyclopedic knowledge of food.
  • Orange carrots came later, probably developed by the Dutch.
  • Purple carrots (find them in summer at the farmer’s market near you) are a source of anthocyanins which the orange ones are not. Black foods are increasingly recognized as the new superfoods.
  • Did you know chicken soup is said to have an amino acid that is similar to a drug used to treat respiratory infections?
  • Parsnip soup with pears. Parsnips are an underappreciated vegetable that people often mistake for carrots. Here is a recipe for a parsnip soup with pears. Intriguing don't you think?

parsnips

 

  • Don't forget our early S/O/L/E Food Tuesday posts was a Tuscan Tomato Soup recipe from our friend Vivianne at Food & Style.
  • Potato Leek Soup.
  • Carrots (sliced like coins for prosperity) were part of my New Year’s Dinner - I pan roast-steamed them with a little butter, a sprinkle of sugar since I was using regular carrots, then added a touch of cream to finish them and sprinkled with chervil. Oh and they go really well with parsnips, which I also included in this New Year’s rendition.
  • If you're a juicer- try this combo: carrot, green apple, beet, ginger. Vitality in a glass. If you'd fed it to Ponce de Leon and told him it was the fountain of youth, he'd have believed you. Ah but then where would Florida be now, you ask....?

More on organic versus conventional:

  • Between 2000 and 2005, the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed the results of nearly 51,000 tests for residues on produce. The "dirty dozen" - most contaminated fruits and veggies: peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes (imported), spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.
  • A study supported by the EPA measured pesticide levels in children's urine before and after a switch to an organic diet. After just 5 days, the chemicals decreased to undetectable levels.

What's the scoop on "baby carrots"?

  1. They're cute, but they're not really baby carrots.
  2. They were developed by an enterprising farmer who wanted to use up his broken or misshapen carrots.
  3. They are really costly.
  4. A bag of 10 2-ounce single-serving packets of organic baby carrots is $5, but for $3.50 less, you can buy a 1-pound bag of whole organic carrots.
  5. Spend less and create less food waste by buying a large bag and cleaning them, putting them into serving ready, snack ready containers or snack size zip bags.

Mulligatawny For a further enticement to buy this book I’ve been mooning on and on about, take a look at Raghavan Iyer’s blog. Like a great song, or a thoroughly annoying one, once you get this soup in your head, just the notion of it, won't let you rest. You will not be satisfied until you’ve eaten it.

It’s around 4 AM for me so odds of me making this right now are slim. But I may yet be seduced. Do I hear a neighbor in the throes of...no, it must be the soup taste-memory talking. Yes, it's that good. It's 5:24 AM now. Who does that at this hour? Just to be sure, I'm leaving my headphones on, iTunes playing! Now Caleb decides not to snore?!

Okay - Mulligatawny is on the list for Wednesday’s planned grocery shopping. Damn, why did I finish my avgolemono for lunch?!