Carrot Top Soup

Get the most out of those farmers’ market carrots and make this summer soup.

Serves 4-6
Adapted from Local Flavors

2-3 cups carrot tops (leaves)
6 small carrots
2 tbls. butter
3 tbls. white rice
2 leeks
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbls. chopped herbs (marjoram or dill)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
ground pepper
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  1. Remove the leaves from the carrot stems. Wash and chop finely.
  2. Dice carrots quite small.
  3. Chop leeks  and herbs.
  4. Melt the butter in your soup pot and add carrot tops, carrots, rice, leeks, and herbs. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and stock.
  5. Bring to a boil over high and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serves well as an appetizer.

Fresh Pea Soup

Do you have too much lettuce? Tired of eating salad? Well, this recipe is a creative way in which to use up lettuce. Forget any preconceptions that you may have about something called pea soup. This is so fresh and good. Don’t skip the mint.Persephone Farms' beautiful peas

2 large leeks, washed and chopped
2 tbls. unsalted butter
3 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
3 cups frozen or fresh peas
about 4 cups of chopped, green soft-leaf lettuce (butter lettuce)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
salt, pepper

optional finishes: 1/4 cup cream and buttered croutons

  1. Melt butter in the bottom of the pot which you will use for soup. Add leeks. Stirring occasionally, cook over medium until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add lettuce and peas, lower heat, and simmer over low for 10 minutes.
  4. Off heat, stir in mint.
  5. Puree your soup with an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.
  6. Return to pan and season to taste with salt and pepper, keeping your soup over low heat.
  7. Drizzle in cream, if desired.

Notes:

  • For croutons, thickly slice and cube old bread. Toss with melted better, salt, pepper, and perhaps some parmesan or garlic salt. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350F for about 10 minutes until brown.
  • Adapted from Gourmet.

Carrot Soup

This soup is so easy. It has very little prep time and very little clean up. It’s wholesome and warm and optimistically orange to brighten your rainy day.Nash's carrots

1 pound carrots
2 small potatoes (I prefer red for this recipe, but anything is good.)
1 large onion
5 garlic cloves
2-4 tbls. olive oil
salt and pepper

1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
1 quart water (or stock)
1/2 cup cream

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (This makes clean up even easier. You won’t have to spend any time trying to scrub off roasted vegetables adhered to a baking sheet.)
  2. Peel and cut the carrots into chunks. Wash potatoes. Leave skins on and cut potatoes into similarly sized chunks. Peel onion and, you guessed it, cut it into chunks. Peel garlic cloves. Toss all of these delectable veggies on the cookie sheet with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in the oven to roast for 1 hour. Go do something else.
  4. Come back to the kitchen and pour the veggies into a soup pot. Add the water or stock. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Fish out the bay leaf and thyme stems. Using an immersion blender or your trusty standing blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. At this point, the soup can sit on low until you are ready to eat it.
  6. Finish with 1/2 cup cream, if you like.

We picked up another 5 pound bag of carrots last weekend at the Ballard Farmer’s Market. I heard the girl at the Nash’s stand say to the customer in front of me, “These are the last of this year’s carrots.” Snap! I grabbed up my bag.  I was feeling disappointed about this, until I realized that the absence of carrots meant that spring vegetables were right around the corner. Thanks, carrots, for getting us through the winter! On to greener things!

Quick Potato and Leek Soup

Everybody needs a good leek and potato soup recipe. I’ve made a few different recipes but have never found one I could love. This week, when I found myself once again in the presence of leeks, I was determined to create the perfect soup. I spread all the cookbooks I had with leek soup recipes out on the counter, skimmed over them, and came up with myLeek and Potato Soup own combination that I really like. Hopefully, you’ll find it comforting and simple, too.

9 oz. leeks (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes (about 4-5)
6 1/2 cups water
butter,  salt, pepper

  1. Prepare your leeks. Slice off the root end and the tougher, dark green parts. Split in half and rinse out the grit. Coarsely chop.
  2. In your soup pot, melt 2 tbls. butter. Add the leeks, a dash of salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 or so minutes over medium until they are just starting to brown.
  3. Pour in the water and with a wooden spoon,  rub off any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring this to a low boil.
  4. While your water and leeks are heating up, peel the potatoes. (I used yellow. Red would probably be nice, also.)  Cut into large cubes.
  5. Add the potatoes and about 1 tsp. salt. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (You could use your blender or food processor too, just be careful of splattering, hot soup.)

Notes:

  • A little bit of cream drizzled over the top of your cup of soup is lovely, but not necessary.
  • We served it with homemade garlic croutons. I liked the little bit of crunch.
  • Reheats well, so make plenty of it!

Soup from the Box

CSA box this week: potatoes, leeks, kale, 2 ears of corn, garlic, ever-present squash
What to make? I put it all together (ok, not the kale and the squash) and made a soup. (Thanks, M. for the suggestion!)

Potato Corn Chowder
This soup was so good! Very simple and straightforward flavors, but it made me very happy. Quick! Make it while corn is still around. I don’t think that frozen corn would quite taste as delicious.

1 skinny leek, chopped finely
half an onion
2 cloves garlic
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
6 small potatoes, unpeeled, small cubes
4 small ears of corn
salt, pepper, butter, olive oil

Chop the leek and the onion very small. Mince the garlic.
Put about a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in the bottom of your soup pot over low to medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the leek, onions, and garlic. Toss some kosher salt and black pepper in. Stirring every once in awhile, cook this on low for awhile (about 15 minutes.) Do not brown.
Add in your stock. Simmer with a lid on low for about 15 minutes.

Add milk. Stir. Add potatoes. (I used half reds and half yellows.) Stir. Taste and adjust for salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes. Add the corn about ten minutes before you want to eat.

This soup rewarms very well for lunch the next day, but I’m not so sure about the results if you would freeze it.