I don’t know about your husband, but mine is out of control when it comes to food shopping.
It’s not his fault, really. He is a victim of his own evolutionary programming, which, in a bizarre maladaptation to modern society, is triggered whenever he enters Costco. At that point it begins to fire off uncontrollable urges that he cannot possibly resist, as co-activation of the male hunter-gatherer gene and the bargain hunting gene drives him to purchases extremely large boxes and bags of foods in quantities that we can’t possibly store in our NYC apartment or eat before they go bad.
Like the 5-pound bag of baby cut carrots be brought home last week. (What on earth was he thinking?… )
Short of setting up a take out salad bar in the dining room or throwing a cocktail party for 100 complete with the world’s largest crudite platter, I was going to have to figure out some way to use those little suckers.
But I love a challenge. And, thankfully, my family loves carrots.
Hopefully, you love carrots too, because that’s about all you’ll be getting on the blog this week. Today, it’ll be carrot soup. Wednesday, Carrot Cake. Then on Saturday, a Moroccan Carrot Salad.
Feel free to post your own favorite carrot recipes in the comments section. I’m starting to run out of ideas, but unfortunately, not carrots – there’s still about a pound left.
ROASTED CARROT & GINGER SOUP
I modified a recipe from the Silver Palate Goodtimes Cookbook, leaving out the wine and using olive oil instead of butter and roasting the carrots first. Serve with Cheddar Dill Scones (recipe below) and garden greens tossed with Lavender Honey Vinaigrette.
- 4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 1/2 pounds baby-cut carrots (or thickly sliced regular carrots)
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 large pieces of crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh dill to garnish
Toss the carrots with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then spread out on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes till they start to soften and are browned.
In a soup pot saute the onions, ginger and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat till onions are soft. Add stock, carrots and bay leaf. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Puree in the pot using an immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice if desired. Garnish with fresh dill and serve. Also delicious cold.
CHEDDAR DILL SCONES
Modified from Ina Garten. I cut back the butter from 3 sticks to two and used whole milk instead of cream – it just seemed like an insane amount of fat, especially since I was also adding cheese and eggs. Ina adds the dill and cheddar at the end – I just added them right in with the wet and dry ingredients so I would not have to work the dough so much. I also added a tad of pepper for a slight kick.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or a pinch cayenne pepper)
- 2 sticks cold butter, diced
- 4 cold large eggs, beaten lightly
- 1 cup cold whole milk
- 1/2 pound mild Cheddar, small dice
- 1 cup minced fresh dill
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl, beat milk, eggs and dill.With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dough until it is the texture of coarse meal. With a wooden spoon, stir in the cheese.Make a well in the center, pour in the egg-milk-dill mixture, and working quickly with the spoon and eventually your hands, make a shaggy loose dough.
Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly for just a minute or less till workable. Pat or roll to 3/4 inch thickness and using a biscuit cutter, cut out your scones. Lay out on baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
Brush with egg wash and bake till golden, about 20-25 mins. Serve warm.
TO SERVE THIS MEAL TO COMPANY
This is a very easy meal to serve to company as a lunch or light dinner.
The soup can be made up to a day ahead and reheated. You can also roll, cut out and flash freeze the scones ahead. You can wash and dry your greens ahead and refrigerate, and make your dressing ahead.
Just before your guests arrive, take out the salad greens and dressing and put the greens in a salad bowl. Preheat your oven. Twenty minutes or so before you plan to serve dinner, pop the scones in the oven. While the scones are baking, reheat the soup and hold it warm. Once the scones are done, call everyone to the table, dress the salad and enjoy!
If this meal seems too light, add some grilled sausages or Irene’s baked chicken.