Tag Archives: carrots

Carrot Apple Soup

Carrot Apple Soup

Spring comes late in the prairies. We get a glimpse of it early, but we are then quickly swept back into winter with frosty mornings and icy winds that take your breath away. While everyone else is getting the first green glimpses of spring, the Canadian prairies are still bitterly cold for the most part. And for me, nothing warms me up faster than a bowl of thick, hearty, homemade soup.

Carrot Apple Soup

A soup like this gets its heartiness from carrots and apples cooked to tender perfection and puréed into velvety smoothness. There’s no cream, and really no significant fat to speak of other than the initial bit to lubricate the pan while sautéing the vegetables. It’s a nice healthy way to stay warm on a chilly not-quite-spring day, and get a good-sized serving of vegetables in. My kids even like it, this is one of their favourites and frequently requested by my five year old when she’s in the mood for soup.

Carrot Apple Soup

If you like your food spicy, too, this soup can benefit from a good amount of heat. The red pepper flakes are completely optional, so if your family doesn’t like the heat, omit them. My husband always likes to take the spiciness a step further and finish his bowl off with a squirt of sriracha, too. And this recipe is easily doubled {or tripled} and freezes really well. I usually make a batch much larger than the recipe below, usually two or three times as much, and I freeze it in both individual and family-sized portions for a quick meal on one of our crunch nights, or for lunches for taking to work.

Carrot Apple Soup

Carrot Apple Soup
(adapted from Joy The Baker)

1 head garlic
1 Tbsp coconut oil {or olive oil} + more for roasting garlic
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp red pepper flakes {optional}
1 large apple, washed, cored and roughly chopped {not peeled}
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp allspice
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Chop the top off the head of garlic and place on a square of foil. Top with a smear of coconut oil {or a drizzle of olive oil}, seal up in foil, and roast until fragrant and golden, ~1 hour. Squeeze garlic out of its papery sheath and set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5 minutes or so.

Add the ginger and roasted garlic, and cook for another minute.

Add carrots and apples to the pot, and cook for 3-4 minutes more, until apples begin to soften.

Add chicken or vegetable stock, and turn the heat up to medium high. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

In small batches, transfer to a blender a blend until smooth. {Tip: don’t over-fill your blender, or hot soup may explode out of it!} Return to pot over low heat. Add more broth if required, or if you prefer a thinner soup. Stir in allspice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a drizzle of a seasoned oil – chile or roasted garlic are my favourites.

Yield: ~5 cups, or about 4 servings.

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Banana Carrot Mini Muffins

If there’s one thing my kids love, it’s muffins – all kinds of muffins. But to them, the king of all muffins isn’t the jumbo muffin (like the huge ones at Costco!), it’s the mini muffin. The perfect hand-sized snack, mini muffins are devoured by my kids as if I had starved them for a week. (For the record, I didn’t starve them to test this theory.) And since my daughter’s preschool does shared snacks, mini muffins are my go-to choice when I have the energy to send a home-baked treat for the kids.

Now, I can’t be the only banana-hoarder out there. Hands up, all of you who whisk your overripe bananas off the counter and into the freezer for future banana bread usage. Come on, admit it, you have a bunch of bananas hanging out in your freezer, don’t you? I sure do. For those of you who think I’m truly off my rocker this time, consider this your banana baking tip of the year – if you freeze your bananas before you make banana bread, you don’t have to mash them when they thaw. Cut the tip of the banana off, squeeze it into a bowl like a tube of toothpaste, and voila: soft, goopy, pre-mashed banana. Yeah, I’m both thrifty and lazy.

So, anyway, with my abundance of frozen bananas, I knew some banana-based baking would be in order. And with Eliza’s preschool snack day looming, what better thing to make than banana mini muffins? I went on the hunt for a reasonably healthy recipe, and came across this one on Tasty Kitchen. It fit the bill perfectly – it used up a couple frozen bananas, had some whole wheat flour, no added oil, and even added a vegetable. In my books, this is a WIN. Oh, and in case you were wondering, they were a huge hit with the preschool class. Double win.

Banana Carrot Mini Muffins
(Adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

1 cup all-purpose Flour
1/2 cup spelt Flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 medium bananas, mashed
2 medium carrots, grated (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease wells of a muffin pan or line with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, applesauce and bananas. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the carrots.

Fill the prepared muffin wells almost full. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing them to cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 48 mini muffins.

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