Carrot Soup and Stuffed Tomatoes

My husband and I used to have a system in our house where we would try to eat one vegetarian, one vegan, and one fish dish a week. This way, we were reducing our meat consumption each week by just a bit. When we started prepping for our move overseas, any kind of routine became pretty difficult and we sort of lost track of our old system. As we’re settling into a routine again, its time to get back to business, and I figured this was a good week to start.

I had eaten some Crema de Zanahoria at a local favorite restaurant recently and thought to myself, “there is no way I can’t make this at home.” After making a point to revisit the Fannie Farmer Cookbook this week, I went to do some recipe digging and as fate would have it, I found that it included a quite tasty-sounding recipe for carrot soup. I couldn’t be happier with the results; as Davis said, “this one is going into heavy rotation.”

The cookbook’s soup recipe calls for chicken broth, which we substitute for vegetable broth to keep things vegetarian friendly. Also, we didn’t use fresh parsley since it’s not incredibly easy for us to find at our local verdulería.

I really like to use heirloom tomatoes for any recipe that calls for baked/roasted tomatoes because they don’t roast as sugary sweet as other varieties, in my opinion. (They’re second only to cherry tomatoes in order of my favorite tomatoes to roast, which might be an odd list to keep in your mind, but hey – these are things I think about.) Finally, we also added scallions to the breadcrumb mixture…well, just because we like those crunchy little green onions.

This combo together makes for a visually striking dish that makes for a great combination of sweet and savory. While neither dish is substantial enough to stand as an entrée on its own, either would be a tasty first course if you were serving a group.

Carrot Soup
Adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (page 85)

What you’ll need:

  • Butter – 4 tbsp.
  • White onion, chopped – 1
  • Carrots, sliced – 6
  • Celery, chopped – 1 stalk
  • Potato, peeled and diced – 2 medium
  • Vegetable broth – 5 cups
  • Heavy cream  – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Add the potatoes and stir until coated.
  4. Stir in the broth and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender for about 20 minutes.
  5. Put through a blender or food processor until very smooth.
  6. Return to the pot, stir in the cream, add salt and pepper to taste, and reheat without boiling. Serve hot (Fannie Farmer says you can serve cold, but that isn’t my preference).

Stuffed Tomatoes
Adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (page 369)

What you’ll need:

  • Tomato – 4 large, preferably heirloom
  • Dried bread crumbs – 1 cup
  • Basil, chopped – 1 tbsp fresh
  • White onion, chopped – 1 tbsp
  • Green pepper, diced – 2 tbsp
  • Scallion, chopped – 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp, for mixture; 1 tsp for pan/outside of the tomato
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prep the veg. Use a tiny bit of olive oil to cover a baking sheet.
  2. Cut tops of tomatoes off and scoop out pulp. Save the pulp.
  3. Sprinkle salt inside of tomato and turn upside down on a paper towel for 15 minutes to drain.
  4. Squeeze juice out of pulp and chop pulp fine.
  5. In a bowl, lightly toss the pulp, green pepper, onion, scallion, basil and bread crumbs. Then add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Make sure that all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Rub the outside of the tomato with olive oil. Fill each tomato with this mixture, do not pack.
  7. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

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