Ugly Carrot Soup

The Easter celebration came off without a hitch. We had 13 guests with plenty of food and drink consumed. Not much in the way of left overs. The fish dip with fresh cut garden veggies was a big hit as were the desserts. Tina made her famous chocolate trifle and lemon bars; Mark and Joey made a carrot cake that is better than any I ever get commercially. Simon left here and headed directly back to Gainesville with a load of ham sandwiches for this week.

The highlight of the weekend for me was the hour or so I got to spend one on one with Grace in the garden. She helped me plant a few things, bush bean seeds, cucumber plants, and some new tomato starts and pick a few things but the fun part was watching her eating freshly picked veggies right from the bush. She loved the snap peas and would just stand there by the row picking and eating. She picked a couple of baby carrots which we hosed off and then, down the hatch. Ditto broccoli florets. The only thing that didn’t work was a radish – too spicy. But she sure tried everything and when they left for Disney, she had a zip lock bag loaded with snap peas for a snack later on.

Prominent in the gardening section of the local paper was a recipe called Ugly Carrot Soup. The article went on to explain how most home grown carrots were ugly, misshapen, short, twisted, fat or with multiple roots and this recipe was to allow you to get good use out of these. The recipe looked very good and perfect for the home gardener since it called for using onions along with their greens and to mix in whatever greens you had ready to go – even suggested using the leaves from broccoli plants. My question is: can I still make the soup if my carrots aren’t ugly?

So we made it and pretty much followed the recipe. It called for shelled sunflower seeds which we didn’t have and, it turns out, called for about a cup of the greens. I missed the “one cup” and thought you just added the greens as available so I put in more like 5-10 cups mixed among spinach, swiss chard, collards, kale, and cabbage. It was afterwards that I reread and saw that I had overdone the greens and also a note that if you used too many greens, the soup would be green instead of orange although it would still taste like carrots. Sure enough it was green but it was incredibly good tasting. Another interesting addition to the soup was a handful of raw pasta. This was a surprise because after you cook everything, it all goes into a food processor and it seemed weird to me that you’d blend it with the pasta. When I first read (scanned) the recipe I assumed you’d cook the soup and then add cooked pasta at the end. Nope, it goes right in with the veggies. I guess it added to the body of the soup. At the end you blend in some yogurt or sour creme or something. I wasn’t watching that part. I hit my bowl with a few dashes of tobasco for zip but it was awesome with or without.

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