"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Loving a Recipe: Carrot Soup with Cilantro

About 18 years ago when I became a cook with cookbooks I started noting the date and any variations on the recipes I tried. If I made it again I noted it. There are notes saying "Bob says this is the king of breads" (that's a bread recipe), or "Tasty but not pretty enough for company -- grayish" (that's cream of cauliflower soup) or "This tastes great!! Why did I doubt?" (fusilli with caper sauce), or "9/14/07 I never poached an egg in soup before, but it's GOOD!" (herb bouillon) or "blender makes gummy potatoes." The notes have made my cookbook library (about 30 books) a priceless record of my daily life and love of cooking. Here's a favorite recipe for that healthy pound of carrots I always buy only to realize that nobody is going to eat 'em raw. The secrets to the soup include the apple, the sweet potato, the rice that makes the soup creamy without cream, and the "Fresh lemon juice to taste" (about 1 Tablespoon). I whip the chopped cilantro into drained yogurt to make cilantro cream to float on top of the finished carrot soup. Recipe comes from The Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook (the 1995 edition). I never have fennel seeds on hand so it's not in my recipe.

Carrot Soup with Cilantro (about 5 servings)

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or corn oil
1 apple, peeled, cored and cubed
1 to 1-1/2 pounds of carrots, chopped
1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons uncooked white rice
1/4 teaspoon turmeric or curry powder
5-1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf (don't omit!)
salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice to taste (about 1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup plain yogurt, drained
Heat the butter or corn oil and saute the carrots and sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes over medium heat, and add the apple and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the white rice, turmeric or curry powder, stock or water, and bay leaf. Cook for 20 minutes until vegetables and rice are soft. Remove bay leaf and puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Pour into serving bowls. Mix the minced fresh cilantro with the yogurt and top each serving with a spoonful.

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