Friday, July 22, 2011


I can't stop cooking these days. It's always been a stress reliever for me. I adore spending time in the kitchen... stirring, tasting, searing, baking. It brings with it lightness. I can shrug off the heavy parts of my day, the responsibilities I have, and focus solely on one thing... cooking something yummy that I want. There are times when I wake up in the morning and all I can think about is what I'm going to cook today. Then I head into the kitchen and on the kitchen counter are leftovers from the other things I've recently made. Sometimes it's not too bad, but right now there are a plethora of baked goods from the picnic-like excursion that we got to take a couple of nights ago. When you're a two person household it can be hard to keep up with a speedy cook.

I think part of my problem is that I enjoy cooking so much that after I've made one thing and eaten it, I'm ready to move on, leftovers be damned! So, because we don't have an infinite bank account with which to purchase the myriad of fancy ingredients I want, it's work through the pantry time here on Horizon Ridge.

Our CSA keeps us well stocked on onions and carrots. In the fridge we had a good quantity of itty bitty carrots that I wanted to do something with, some of which had been languishing in the crisper drawer for a little too long. I initially thought about carrot cake, but then the lemon drizzle cake, ginger cake, and cookies still on the kitchen counter smacked me upside the head and reminded me I was crazy. So I decided to go for some soup. My other half is definitely a soup person, as well as a spicy person. So Curried Carrot Soup it was. I mean, it was in the interest of pantry clearing. Really. I was practically strong armed into it by neglected root vegetables. The dish above is pictured with some fried green tomatoes, for which the recipe is coming soon. By the way, did you ever spell out the word Abundance? It's A Bun Dance. That makes me oddly chipper.

Curried Carrot Soup

This recipe was inspired by a random Rachel Ray recipe that I happened to have pulled off the internet at some point. This is a really good way to use up a few carrots that are a little tired, though I do recommend mixing them in with some nice fresh ones.

12oz Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
3 Cups of Vegetable stock
1 Small Onion or half a large one, diced
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and carrots and saute for five minutes or so until softened. Add two cups of the vegetable stock and all the spices, and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes until the carrots are soft. With a slotted spoon, pull the carrots into a blender with about half of the remaining vegetable stock. Blend in short bursts until the desired texture is reached. I recommend leaving it a fair bit chunky for texture, else it will be more like a puree. Return the blended mixture to the soup pot and add the remaining half cup of stock. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Simmer for five more minutes and then serve.

You can add in a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt or sour cream on serving if you need to quiet down the spice a little. I recommend serving this with a hunk of crusty sourdough bread.

Yields 2 large servings.

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