Well, we grew some ugly carrots in our indoor garden in January, and we grew some more ugly carrots in June. I suppose I deserve ugly carrots after all my bravado about radishes.
They looked so pretty in the dirt, with their nice, long tops and lush foliage. Their lovely little orange tops were just peaking out of the soil…
And then I pulled them up and they were absolutely hideous.
I mean, they taste great. Very carrot-y. They just look insane.
Unfortunately , sometime I get a little bit lazy. My 5-year-old and I planted these seeds. With gusto. Plenty of carrots seeds per square inch. Maybe way too many seeds per square inch. And then, we never got around to thinning them. I thought about it once but then got lazy and said, oh heck we’ll just make soup with them!
So here we are. No one will eat these crazy looking things, so into a nice soup they go! They will taste wonderful and never have to be seen again. Plus, we had a June snow storm early this week so soup was the perfect meal. In fact, we actually got a solid 3″ of snow, reminding me of why I garden inside.
This soup recipe is based on the flavorful Curry Carrot Soup from the Blonde Bear Tavern at Taos Ski Valley. It is so simple and satisfying, it really is worth cooking if you get the chance. It’s from a great book for soup lovers called Ski Town Soups: Signature Ski Town Soups from World Class Ski Resorts by Jennie Iverson. This recipe uses a whopping 2 pounds of carrots, so who cares what they look like, just get enough carrots gathered up to get the job done. The yellow curry and splash of Madeira give the soup a really unique flavor that compliments the sweetness of the carrots perfectly.
As the author points out, carrots are naturally sweet but they start to lose that sweetness after they are harvested. The longer the time, and the more they are handled, the less sweet they become. So the chef at the Blonde Bear Tavern, Joseph Wrede, strongly recommends using local carrots that have been gently handled.
And what could be more local than harvesting your own carrots from your own indoor garden, right in your own house, with your own gentle hands!
We got to use a few more items from the Tub Garden; the fresh thyme adds another layer of flavor in this soup recipe, and the whole sprigs are a lovely garnish as well. We also served the soup with a tangy salad made with fresh home-grown arugula and cucumbers, topped with a light vinaigrette mixed with yogurt and dill.
This whole indoor gardening experiment really has been interesting when it comes to incorporating this stuff at the table. It sort of plays tricks on your sense of the seasons to have fresh veggies available when they normally would not be. Like with this soup, the whole house smelled a bit like autumn with the carrots sautéing in the butter and the curry toasting over the gas flame. I said as much to my husband and then we sort of laughed – realizing that it was snowing in June. This meal fit right in.
Curry Carrot SoupCourse: Soups, VegetarianDifficulty: Easy
This hearty autumn soup is adapted from Ski Town Soups: Signature Ski Town Soups from World Class Ski Resorts by Jennie Iverson.
2 lbs. carrots chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. yellow curry
1/4 cup Madeira
4-6 fresh thyme sprigs (remove the leaves on 3-4 sprigs and keep 2-3 intact for a garnish)
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper
- In a small skillet, toast the yellow curry over medium heat until aromatic, approximately 3-4minutes. Watch it closely as it can burn easily if the heat is too high. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan heat the cream and reduce by half, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp butter and add the carrots, stirring frequently. Once the carrots start to soften, add the madeira and allow to cook on medium-high heat for another 5 minutes.
- Add the thyme leaves, toasted curry and vegetable stock. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Then add the reduced cream and puree in a blender.
- While the stock is cooking, melt the remaining butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add the sautéed onion to the pureed soup, salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh thyme.