Thursday, August 30, 2007
Carrot Top And Rice Soup, Lentil and Barley Stew
CARROT TOP AND RICE SOUP?
Somewhere or other I remember reading that carrot tops were good to eat and good for you. They are? Never heard that in my lifetime, I swear. But I do remember reading that in the last couple of months, and at the farmers' market these days there are lovely lovely little carrots with beautiful lacy tops, as crisp and green as you please. Weeeeeeelllll, game for anything, I tried nibbling. Hmmmm. Not bad. Carrotty, but green-carrotty, sort of a cross between carrot and parsley with a little je ne sais quoi thrown in (which phrase I threw in, I hasten to explain, to convince those of you who have been eating carrot tops all their lives that I'm not completely clueless. So there.).
So, your intrepid kitchen maven surfed the net and came up with a Tuscan Carrot Top and Rice Soup HERE, which of course, being me, I changed around a bit to make it fit in with my own eating style and what I had in my kitchen.
Instad of sauteeing in olive oil, as per the recipe, I cooked the veggies in a little stock until the onions were translucent and then added the vegetable broth (the last of my homemade broth, as it turned out - see below!). We use long grain brown rice here, not short grain anything, and I just happened to have some left over in the fridge which I put in a little later than the recipe called for, since it didn't need to cook. I used a bundle of tiny carrots more or less equivalent to the 2 small carrots the recipe called for, 4 cloves of garlic rather than three, 2 cups of the carrot tops, finely chopped, and of course skipped the grated cheese.
The result? Delicious. Mild tasting, wonderfully delicate, lovely carrot and rice soup with (what could it be, those green bits in it?), er, greens. Recommended.
'NO THANKS MOM, I THINK I'LL PASS' LENTIL AND BARLEY STEW - FROM JACKIE V.
I was reading Jackie's new blog, FROM JACKIE VETTER'S KITCHEN and saw this stew recipe with the provocative name! I thought it sounded good so I made it for lunch today! Sadly, I was out of homemade stock (and I no longer use the commercial variety unless I can get reduced salt or salt-free, which I can't right now), so I had to let the stew make it's own stock - which is to say I used water.
The second problem I ran into was thinking I had brown lentils, which is what Jackie used. I didn't, so (since we really wanted to eat today) I substituted (ready for this?) yellow split peas. I also used white potatoes instead of red, pot barley instead of pearl barley. Carrots, celery, garlic, onion, green pepper, canned tomatoes and the various lovely spices I had, so no problem. For 'greens' I used chopped kale. I skipped the sauteeing in olive oil, as per usual, and to make up for the lack of stock I added around 4 ounces of chopped mushrooms and some oregano. That worked fine - along with a quarter-cup of sherry - in the stew pot, not the cook.
Here it is after all ingredients have been added.
Somehow, the dished photo didn't get taken - we were too busy getting it into the bowls, onto the table and into our tums. I made half a recipe and there's enough for 3 or 4 more people our size :) We started with a spinach salad (with sliced pear, craisins, a little red onion, a little sweet red pepper in balsamic and rice vinegar dressing), accompanied the stew with fresh corn bread.
This stew recipe is a keeper. Thanks, Jackie!! And I promise to have brown lentils for next time!!!
And through all this? Well, the furkids slept, two of the three together. They missed all but some crumbs from the cornbread LOL