Savory Christmas Carrot Soup
Some Carrots are Naturally Redder
Red and Green Soup
This is originally an Irish carrot soup, with a bit of roasted red pepper added for color and a slightly different flavor, and disallowing the sugar, which makes it too sweet for my taste. When I drink carrot juice, I add 2 Tablespoons of lime juice to an 8-ounce glass for a refreshing beverage that is not too sweet.
For another bit of zip, you can add 1/2 teaspoon or more of your favorite curry powder - all the better if you've made that yourself to have on hand (see recipe below).
Substitute sweet potato for the carrots, if you're after a different sort of earthier flavor. Peel, then cut the sweet potato into 1-inch cubes before cooking. In this recipe, I cut the carrots on the diagonal to expose more cut surface, thereby providing more flavor in cooking. Of the hundreds of varieties of carrots available in local markets, choose one that has a deep orange or orange red flesh, with little core area. For example:
RED ELEPHANT CARROTS
Several good references for carrots and carrot variety are offered online by professionals in the UK and at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. The Red Elephant Carrot is an heirloom purebred carrot with a deep red orange flesh and difficult to find, because many seed companies stopped carrying it. Hybrids of many plant and animal species became preferred over purebreds for their strength and disease resistance
The Red Elephant variety was reported extinct by 1910, according to a few resources. Further, the variety was placed on the Protected Varieties List in the UK and is still available in the 2010s. CherryGal Heirloom Seeds, in North Carolina, is a sustainable agriculture company in the USA that caters to the home gardener with small packs of seeds produced fresh yearly. The Red Elephant Carrot is available though them after late October for $2.00 the packet of 25. They would make an excellent base for this Christmasy Carrot Soup.
CherryGal Heirloom Seeds: Toll Free Phone 888-752-0022, 6AM - 3PM EST M-F.
Photo images of carrots show that they occur in all colors from white to black. The red carrots are thought to have first grown in Asiatic countries like India and China. Carrots overall may have begun life in the Northern Africa/Middle Eastern regions. There is a suggestion that the Dutch interbred carrots until they received a bright orange offspring hybrid that is most popular.
Look at the link for the Carrot Museum in the UK and find how Walt Disney helped make the carrot more popular there. Later, he made the banana popular in America with his original Chiquita commercial. You'll also see how Queen Anne's Lace is related to the carrot, how to make jelly from it, and how to make carrot fudge.
- World Carrot Museum - all about carrots
A virtual museum whose mission is to educate, inform and amuse visitors through the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of objects relating to the Carrot.
- Department of Plant Sciences Vegetable Program - Carrot Database
Searchable / sortable database of Brussels Sprouts varieties / cultivars tested in annual trials by the Vegetable program, Department of Plant Sciences.
Christmasy Irish Carrot Soup
An Irish Carrot Soup Adapted for the Christmas Season
Serves 6 to 8
The added red of the roasted red pepper, together with the chopped chives garnish, makes an attractive seasonal dish to liven up the table.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp EVOO - extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Pounds carrots, pared and sliced on the diagonal to bring out extra flavor
- 1 Large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Red roasted pepper (fresh or canned), chopped
- 6 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 5 Whole cloves
- 4 Cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 Cup heavy cream
- Chopped chives for garnish
- 1 Canned red roasted pepper, diced
- Heat olive oil and butter together in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add carrot slices, onions, red pepper dice, garlic, and cloves. Add curry powder as well at this point, if you want a bit more spice: 1/2 to 1 tsp, or to taste..
- Saute until onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add 3.5 cups of broth and stir.
- Cover and simmer the soup until carrots are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or so. Diagaonal slices cook faster than usual cuts, unless quite thick.
- Remove cloves from the pot and discard them.
- Puree the soup in appropriate-sized batches in blender and pour back into the pot.
- Add lemon juice to the pot and stir over moderate heat.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- If too thick, add additional broth and stir.
- Whisk cream in a chilled metal bowl, until slightly thickened.
- Place soup in bowls, drizzle with the cream, and top with diced roasted red pepper and chives.
Curry Powder Recipe
INGREDIENTS - All Spices are Ground
In a bowl, mix together
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon cardamom
- 1 Tablespoon coriander
- 1/4 cup ground turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container or a clean spice bottle.
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