What to do with all this carrot puree?
I picked up a copy of "French Women Don't Get Fat" and as I happened to have an overabundance of carrots, tried out the recipe for "Quick and Easy Carrot Soup." Even bought a food mill for the purpose. Well, the thing is... it's vile.
Now I've got a couple of cups (maybe 3) of - well, it's not a nice, creamy puree of carrot. A sort of coarse-sand-of-carrot - just sitting there in the refrigerator being orange...
I tried adding ginger to a small bit of it, but that was nasty. Tried a bit of nutmeg - horrible. Texture-wise, tried adding half-and-half - it's just not anything like what I'd call soup.
What would you do with it? I'm not sure that milk of any type is what I really want if I'm trying not to get fat, but something is definitely needed. I've thought of boiling potatoes, adding the carrot, and using an immersion blender to try to get a smoother texture. What about seasoning?
I probably have a 2-day window before I give up and just compost it, which would be a shameful waste. All ideas welcome, including what I might have done wrong in the first place!
1 pound carrots
4 ounces butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 T. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Peel and slice carrots, or use one pound bag of baby
carrots. Cook in salted water until soft. Drain
well. Melt butter. In a food processor, put all
ingredients except the carrots. Blend well. Add
carrots and blend until the mix resembles a milkshake.
Do not completely puree the carrots. Bake in an 8X8
greased glass dish at 275 degrees for 45minutes, just
until the center is firm. Or, bake at 300 degrees in
a metal pan for 40 to 45 minutes till firm. You may
double the recipe and bake in a 9X13 dish, adding 5
minutes or so to the cooking time.
I had a look at the recipe you used. The problem could stem from the fact that it is not very specific about how thin to slice the carrots, or about the kind of texture they are aiming for.
What about cooking the carrot puree longer, in its original cooking liquid, adding water if necessary? Stir it so the carrot goo doesn't sit sullenly on the bottom of the pot and burn. Then cool slightly and puree with the fresh dill suggested in the recipe, or other herb such as coriander, plus a clove of raw garlic if you're a raw garlic sort of person. Maybe a teaspoon of lemon juice?
re: almond tree
Oh, thank you very much for looking at it. I was wondering whether I used the wrong disc on the food mill, or didn't cook the carrots enough. I love the phrase "sit sullenly on the bottom of the pot and burn" - hilarious! I am going to try this in the morning with the fresh dill - using the immersion blender for the pureeing - and I can always stir in garlic and/or lemon juice if that doesn't quite do it. I'll let you know how it turns out.
'Coarse-sand-of-carrot' is begging you to be made into muffins or carrot cake. There's orange carrot cake, there's chocolate orange carrot cake, there's orange ginger carrot cake, etc. Masking the carrot taste with chocolate, orange, or ginger might work out pretty good for you.
I like to add some cooked and pureed carrots to my tomato soup... along with cooked and pureed onions, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, revived sundried tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaf, smoked paprika, a little mustard powder and fresh basil to finish. the carrot/onion combo add a nice smooth sweetness to balance the acidic sweetness of the tomatoes...
re: almond tree
not all that precise...
cut 2 1/2 lbs of tomatoes in half, put on a baking sheet lined with foil then parchment (just to protect my pans).
cut the top off of a head of garlic. add to baking sheet.
[[you can add onions/carrots here, but i prefer to cook them til really soft to get a better puree (often i'll nuke them in the microwave to soften them, then roast with the tomatoes to get a bit of browning -- softer purees better, roasting tastes bettter). i usually use 2-3 small onions (or 2 medium or large onions) and 3 - 5/6 carrots depending upon their size... if they're the tiny 6 or 7 inch ones with a 1/2" diameter, upwards of 6 or even 7. if humongous, like i get at the ethnic markets, 3 will suffice. generally i end up with 3 if not a little more cups of carrot/onion puree.]]
i spray the tops of the tomato and garlic with spray oil Just a little to adhere the seasoning.
sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. evenly sprinkle over a hefty dose (2-4 tsp?) dried thyme, and toss in 4-6 bay leaves. cover loosely with another piece of foil.
roast at 350-375 F for 10-15 minutes, remove foil and roast for another 10-15 minutes or til soft and the skins are really starting to peel. (if you add carrots/onions and pre-cook them, watch that the onion doesn't completely char over... if you add carrots/onions and don't pre-cook them, it will take more time in the oven to soften them.)
in the meantime, i soak some sundried tomato bits in veggie broth. maybe 2 tbsp or so finely chopped or 5-6 whole ones, in just enough broth to cover them.
if cooked separately and not roasting, i toss the cooked carrots and onions into my blender (NEW...YAY) otherwise i do it when they come out of the oven with the tomatoes.
pour those into a pot with more salt, pepper, thyme... toss in the bay leaves off of the baking tray as well.
i puree the tomatoes, the sundried tomatoes, and as much garlic as i feel like... maybe 4-6 cloves. add that to the carrots, onions, herbs mixture. add a little veggie broth (i use a very hearty tasting one.)
adjust seasoning of salt, pepper, probably add more thyme. i add in about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/4 - 1/2 tsp mustard powder. let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
COVER it once you start simmering!!! it spits. a lot.
add in some chopped (or torn into bits, as i do standing over the pot) fresh basil... i'm heavy handed with this.
adjust seasoning again, adding more thyme if you feel it necessary (i often do...) and let simmer for a bit longer, til it's at a place you like!
sometimes when i have leftovers, i'll stir in a little unsweetened almond milk when reheating -- for some reason i only do this with leftovers.
hope that helps.
Thank you for going to the trouble of writing this out in such detail. I actually liked that you weren't super precise with details - that's the way I cook & I feel that I captured the spirit of your soup, which I finally tried a couple of days ago. Delicious - satisfying but light, with an interesting, fun combination of flavors. The carrot puree definitely complemented that tomato & toned down the acidity. Reheated it this evening mixed with some leftover oven roasted vegetables & cooked chickpeas - yummy.
Now we know why French women don't get fat ; )
You should be able to salvage this. Lots of good ideas here.
I have a carrot-ginger-orange soup recipe that I think produces a lovely soup, but since you don't like the ginger-carrot combo, I'd suggest you try it without adding ginger. I'd cook it some more, as others have suggested, with some chicken or vegetable stock, and then add some orange juice and take the IB to it. My recipe has you sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top, but you could sub parsley or chives, even thyme. I'd swirl in some yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream. (Or coconut milk, as hotoynoodle suggested; that sounds delicious.)
Thanks again to everyone! As HillJ & others suggested, a finer puree did help. Lots of fresh dill perked it up - the lemon juice didn't do what I had hoped . We now indeed know why French women don't get fat if this is how they're making carrot soup...
I actually do like carrot-ginger soups but I think cooking the ginger with the carrot would be my preferred method on that. I think the orange juice you suggested, nomadchowwoman, could have done what the lemon juice didn't. I may try that sometime along with hotoynoodle's coconut milk.
Add a bit to homemade tomato sauce - it adds a hint of sweetness. Or use eggs to make it into patties and fry them (carrot latkes?)
You've got some great ideas on what to do with your puree. Word of caution on the book...I gained five pounds after reading it. LOL!
I've come to the conclusion that French women don't get fat (Parisians in particular), not so much because of their eating habits, but because they walk *everywhere*. We spent two weeks in Paris and I ate more sausage, cheese, and bread that I had life to date and gained very little. My feet, however, paid the price.