Monday, October 27, 2008

Carrot Soup & Garlic Planting

Another fine fall weekend over here, lots of music, lots of apples, lots of bundling up against the cold. This morning I planted our seed garlic. Something so very magical about tucking cloves into the ground while the wind is howling around your head and your fingers are freezing inside two pair of gloves. I bought our garlic from here, and so far they have been the nicest dang people I have ever bought seeds or starts from. I planted four kinds: Chesnok Red, Siberian, Susanville, and Zemo. Three hardnecks and one softneck. Some folks out there soak their cloves before they plant them, but none of my friends do that and the Hood River folks made no mention of it, so we’ll see how just sticking them in the ground goes. I just prepped the bed with compost, poked them into the ground, covered the whole bed with a good thick layer of straw and a lighter layer of leaf mulch, and watered everything. Like putting something to bed for the winter. Fun.

Ok, so we continue to eat these beans. Lately I just cook them up and in a separate pan I sauté leeks from the garden and sausage from our favorite farm down the road, lots of salt and pepper and some thyme, throw the beans in and ooph, it is so yum. Truly, it looks like a big mess of glop, but damn, those beans are so incredible, the leeks so sweetly leeky, and the sausage we get is out of sight. Cheap and easy baby.

Also cheap if ever so slightly less easy: carrot soup. I can be kind of a pain in the ass about carrots. I have very strong feelings about what size exactly carrots should be when they show up in food, and I am pretty much never in favor of a huge mouthful of cooked carrots. But I like carrot soup, go figure. I love the subtle peanut flavor from the peanut oil in this soup. Warm and cheery on a cold night, better yet the next day.

Carrot Soup

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
1 large potato, preferably yukon gold
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel (one lime should do)
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, more to taste
5 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Toast coriander and mustard seeds, then grind to a fine powder.

Heat oil in soup pot, add ground seeds and curry powder, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ginger, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add onion, leeks, carrots, potato, lime peel. Add salt and pepper and sauté until onions begin to soften. Add broth, bring to a boil, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly. In batches, puree until smooth (this works best if you blend the ingredients without a lot of accompanying stock, add it in once you have a smooth texture). Return batches to soup pot, add more broth if consistency is too thick. Stir in lime juice, season. Yum.


Alan said...

Love the garlic! We are planting this week too. We don't soak our cloves either. We usually plant about 4000 plants, and haven't had a problem. The soup looks great. have to try it.

queenbeehoney said...

4000 garlic plants? My word, do you eat them all?

Heats, the soup looks just lovely ~ who could resist anything in those bowls? John and I were brainstorming last night. I've been reading "The Long Tail", selling more of less. A fascinating read, and we think you should self-publish your blog as a quasi-cookbook and put it out on amazon. Then you'll develop a small devoted following, followed by the Asheville cable cooking show (I can hardly wait!), followed by who knows what. It's obvious what you're passionate about....anyway, a very interesting book which has really made me think a lot about what is possible in the age of the digital brain. I mean, you found my ad guy online via his chicken-crazy wife. If that can happen, what can't happen?

rachel said...

i was so inspired, i immediately put some beans on to soak. i'll make carrot soup next weekend after the sunday farmers market.

okay, off to the post office and then the thrift stores.

can i be a "special guest" on your cable tv show?

cake said...

not sure how i missed this one, i somehow skipped over it before. and...i also (coincidentally) posted about a carrot soup recipe i just tried. i guess i will have to try this one next time.

i feel exactly the same way you do about cooked carrots. i usually just don't like them, but i love carrot soup. we must have very similar taste buds. so, i will be even more trusting of your recipes.

i put my garlic in on nov. 1, and did pretty much what you did. look forward to seeing them pop up in the spring!