As summer harvest winds down here in Minnesota, the old Brookes homestead still has a few treasures in the backyard garden.
Back in May this year, some friends & I were wandering around the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at a truly stunning plant sale when I stumbled across purple carrot seeds. Firstly, I had no idea purple carrots were a thing. Secondly, I’d never tried to grow carrots before. But they were dirt cheap (pun intended) and I figured, “why not!”
I’m sure carrots take their flavor from the soil they grow in, so as I continue cultivating these delightful root veggies I’ll be intrigued to discover flavor differences as our soil becomes more organic & healthy. For now, these carrots are squat, little, sassy-tasting beauties. And I am really unnecessarily proud of how gorgeous they are. All I did was poke some seeds in some dirt, water them every once in a while and wait for like 3 months. It’s not like I invented the carrot and caused them to grow.
But lookit how pretty!
And since I had such a large crop of carrots, I decided to dust off one of my favorite Fall recipes from The Soup Bible*:
Spicy Carrot Soup with Garlic Croutons (serves 6) vegan friendly!
- 1 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 4 c. carrots, sliced
- 1 tsp. each ground coriander, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper
- 4 c. vegetable stock
- salt & black pepper to taste, sprigs of fresh cilantro to garnish (if you garnish soups)
For the croutons:
- 1-2 Tbls. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I double this as I’m making the croutons cause GARLIC)
- 4 slices bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Heat the oil on medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground spices and cook 1 minute longer, stirring. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the carrots are tender. Meanwhile, make the garlic croutons. Heat oil on medium in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add bread cubes, turn them frequently in the oil and fry for a few minutes until crisp and golden brown all over. Pat dry on towels. Puree the soup in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to soup pot (if needed) to reheat. Serve hot, sprinkled with croutons and garnish with cilantro (if you garnish stuff).
Such a joy to be part of the food process from start to finish. Who knew that growing my own food would be so satisfying! What are you growing in your garden? Anything you grow that has become a staple you just can’t live without now? Also, let me know if you try this soup recipe!
*I got my copy of The Soup Bible at Half Price Books for $2 in the clearance section. I have made over 10 soup recipes from it and each one has been super tasty. There are many very affordable recipes and a lot of great, wholesome flavor combos. I highly recommend this cookbook.