Welcome to another fun week of Rootabaga!
This week we’re excited about carrots and their less celebrated, but equally delicious cousin, the parsnip. How wonderful is it that we can have Nova Scotian carrots almost all year round? Aside from a couple week break in early summer when the previous year’s harvest is finished and the summer Bunched Carrots aren’t quite ready, we have access to this delicious and nutritious staple all year long. Carrots are so versatile: stir-fries, curries, soups, raw, cooked, in a cake! This week we’re also saying goodbye to the last of this year’s broccoli crop and welcoming the start of winter microgreens.
The small Rootabaga share has:
Super Sweet Carrots – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Parsnips – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Sweet Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Broccoli – Randsland, conventionally grown
Green Onions – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Acorn Squash – Josh Oulton, conventionally grown
Cranberries – Indian Garden Farm, conventionally grown
Spicy Microgreens – Bramble Hill Farms, spray-free
The large subscription has all of the above and a larger share of green onion, microgreens, sweet potato, and cranberries.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- Lots of carrots - use almost the full 2 lbs given, reserve 1 or 2 for use elsewhere, or use the full 2lbs if you’d like to make a large batch. Peeled and chopped
- 1 medium to large parsnip, peeled and chopped
- 1 large potato - use whatever you have on hand, yukon, russet, sweet. The potato adds starch that really enhances the texture of the soup. Peeled and chopped
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 cups + water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes or vegetable broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chopped celery, carrot, and parsnip. Let the veggies soften and mingle, 5-10 minutes. If the veggies are beginning to stick to the bottom of the pot add a bit of water to loosen things up. Add the potato.
- Add the bouillon cubes and enough water (or vegetable broth and emit the bouillon cubes) to cover all the vegetables by about 1 centimeter.
- Rinse the lentils, add them to the pot with an additional 2 cups of water. Let everything simmer with the lid on until all the vegetables and lentils are soft, 20-30 minutes.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a heat-tolerant blender. Taste the soup and make any adjustments, adding more salt and pepper if needed, or a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavour. If it looks too thick, add more water or vegetable broth to reach your desired consistency.
The thing I like about this carrot soup is that it’s clearly a carrot soup, but the parsnip adds a really nice sweetness and bite to the soup, while the little bit of potato makes for a rich and creamy texture. The addition of lentils adds protein and makes this a one pot meal. Enjoy as is, or try with a drizzle of Harissa Oil! I’ll mention that this is a very adapted harissa oil, inspired by the traditional condiment found in North African cooking, but without all the heat (and hard to source Bird’s-Eye Chillies)
Harissa Oil (recipe adapted from the Essential Vegetarian Cookbook):
1 tablespoon caraway seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Optional: red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or red chili of choice added for desired heat. I add ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes for a bit of spice.
- In a cast iron pan, dry fry the caraway, cumin, and coriander seed until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add all the ingredients through salt (and hot pepper or cayenne if using) to a food processor or high speed blender (if capable of grinding seeds). Drizzle in the olive oil after the spices, garlic, and mint are sufficiently ground. Once the soup is served in bowls, drizzle the harissa oil on top to taste.
I really hope you enjoy the soup, if you try it please let me know what you think!
From the other selections in this week’s share I’ll be continuing my cranberries in baking obsession. I’d like to try this (https://www.littlesweetbaker.com/cranberry-orange-muffins/) cranberry orange muffin recipe. And I’ll be adding cranberries to my pancake batter, if you haven’t tried it tart cranberry is the perfect compliment to maple syrup (It’s also delicious in waffles).
The last of the year’s broccoli would be a great addition to a weeknight staple, roasted vegetables and Speerville Quinoa. Simply roast whatever veggies you have on hand in some salt and pepper and olive oil. Roasted acorn squash is particularly delicious. Cook quinoa in water or vegetable broth according to package directions. Then mix the roasted vegetables into the quinoa, crumble some Ranchers Acres Feta throughout, and garnish with sliced green onion.
That’s it for now folks! I hope you all enjoy trying something new with this week’s batch of local goodness.
Until next week,