Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2016

Roast Carrot Soup

I know, I keep giving you carrot soup recipes, but this one was just so gorgeous I had to share it. I found it at the Kalbos Café at the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen (West Cork, Ireland), when I stopped in for a quick light lunch (I’ve eaten there before). The Arts Centre itself took years to build, and opened in 2015. It’s been a very busy place ever since, and it plays an important role in the local cultural community. Brilliant move to have an place to eat right alongside it. (I tried to find a picture that showed both, but the cafe is kind of tucked in and it's hard to get both in the same shot.)

You may think of vegetable soup as a winter dish, but let me remind you that it’s cooler in Ireland than in the US in summer. Plus this is not one of those you have to stew for hours (oh, well, there is that turning on the oven thing). There are plenty of carrots in Ireland, year round, as well as other hearty root vegetables. Kind of reminds me of Massachusetts, where summer vegetables don’t really appear at the farmers’ markets until June or even July, at least in my part of the state. 

The Kalbos Cafe soup
When I ordered the soup (the special of the day) I expected something bland and comforting, but what I hadn’t expected was an intense red blast of color. As you might guess, the “body” of the soup come from the carrots, but the color comes from beets (or beetroot, as they call it there--I had to ask). Both are root vegetables with a fairly high sugar content. Roast them and they caramelize a bit, adding a sweet element to the soup, and a deeper flavor.

I’ll confess, I looked for recipes online, but they all looked like ordinary carrot soup—orange. None had this wonderful rich red color. Let me add that the dominant flavor is carrot, not beet (as a child I used to gag at the taste of beets, so I’m still wary of them).

At the café it was served simply, with a piece of brown bread and some butter. If you want to dress it up, you could add a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of dill or another herb. Also note that this is vegan—all vegetable, unless you want to use chicken stock. It’s simple, healthy and tasty—what more could you ask?

Roasted Carrot Soup


1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 lb beets, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2 Tblsp good olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss the carrots, beets and onion with the olive oil, then spread them in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. 

Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times (so they don’t stick), until they are tender and beginning to brown around the edges.

4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the cooked vegetables in a large saucepan. Add the stock, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until all the vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).

Bought this at a yard sale across the street
for $3. I've used it a lot.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor (to whatever smoothness you desire), or use an immersion blender. Keep the soup warm in the pan, and season with the salt and pepper. (If it's too thick for you, add a bit more stock, or even water.)

Serve in deep bowls. If you want to dress it up, add a dollop of crème fraiche and maybe a sprig of dill. Serve immediately. (This recipe makes about four servings.)

My nod to the Fourth of July: it's
red, white and blue!

Note: in winter you can add other vegetables as well—butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potato—to make it a heartier soup. You can also spice it up with a dash of pepper sauce or chile powder—it’s a very versatile recipe!

My feeble effort to add an Irish design

I'll stop rambling on about all things Irish soon, I promise. I am working on other books, really--the next Irish one (still nameless), another Orchard mystery, another Relatively Dead story, a short story or two...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Special Chanukah Latkes from a teen Iron Chef by Cleo Coyle

A few weeks ago on Facebook, Nancy Prior Phillips, one of our wonderful followers, mentioned that her teenage son, Connor, whipped up my Autumn Potatoes recipe (a mashed potato makeover, adding flavor and nutrition to your classic mashed via garlic and carrots).

I was delighted to hear that Connor, an aspiring chef, was inspired by my recipe to take it one step further. He added a few ingredients and fried them up as pancakes! Brilliant!

The result is a delicious latke recipe that my husband and I inhaled the day we tried them. I hope you enjoy them, too. Connor even gave us a sweet variation. Go, Chef Connor! You’re on your way to becoming the next Iron Chef!

Wednesday evening, December 1st, of course, brings us the first night of Chanukah, and latkes (potato pancakes) are a tasty, traditional Chanukah food.

The Jewish custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil comes from the original miracle of the Chanukah menorah, which involved the discovery of a small flask of oil that lasted many more days than it should have. Consequently, the “Festival of Lights” is eight days long and marked each night by the lighting of a new candle.

My barista character, Esther, has her own unique spin on her mother’s traditional latke recipe. In Holiday Grind, I share her recipe with readers. For today’s post, I am delighted to share…

Connor Phillips’
Chanukah Latkes (2 Ways!)

To print, save, or share this recipe in a PDF document, click here.  The PDF includes Connor's Latke recipe along with Cleo's Autumn Potatoes.

Garlic-Carrot Potato Latkes
with Dill, topped with
Ginger Sour Cream 

Servings: 6 pancakes

1 egg, well beaten
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
2 teaspoons dried dill
3 cups of Cleo Coyle's Autumn Potatoes (click here to get Cleo's free PDF of her recipe, which will give you 3 cups of garlic-carrot mashed potatoes) 
Olive oil (enough for 1/2 inch in frying pan)

For Topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or to your own taste)

Directions: Mix together Cleo's Autumn Potatoes, egg, flour, and dried dill. Now heat 1/2 inch of olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or frying pan) until it shimmers. (Be sure oil is nice and hot or the results will be greasy.) Using an ice cream scoop, carefully place mounds of the batter into the hot oil. Flatten with a spatula. Cook these small pancakes until they brown and form crunchy crusts (5 or 6 minutes on one side), then flip over and continue until the other side is similar (another 5 or 6 minutes). Remove the pancakes from the pan and drain on paper towels. Serve with ginger sour cream.

Sweet Latkes with
Cinnamon and Apple Sauce 

Servings: 6 pancakes

1 egg, well beaten 
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg or cinnamon 
3 cups of Cleo Coyle's Autumn Potatoes (click here for Cleo's free PDF of her recipe, which will give you 3 cups of garlic-carrot mashed potatoes)
Olive oil (enough for 1/2 inch in frying pan)

Directions: Follow cooking instructions in previous latke recipe. Top with cinnamon apple sauce (Connor used the chunky kind). You can also use vanilla yogurt or sour cream swirled with vanilla and cinnamon.


Cleo's Tip #1:

For best results, be sure to use 1/2 inch of olive oil. Don't skimp. Remember: It's the temperature of the oil that will give you greasy latkes and not the amount.

Just make sure the oil is hot enough before you plop in your first scoop of batter. As Connor advises, wait until the oil "shimmers." (As Esther advises, "It's the oil that's the mitzvah, so don't be stingy with it!") 

Plopping scoops of latke
batter into the hot oil.

Flatten with spatula.

Cleo's Tip #2:

Be patient. The pancakes will take 5 or 6 minutes to cook per side. The oil needs to be nice and hot (note the bubbling in the photo).

Flip with care: Allow the latkes to cook until nice and crispy on one side before flipping to the other or they may fall apart on you. And don't flip more than once. Just fry until crispy. Flip. Fry until crispy, and you're done.

When finished frying, drain them on a paper towel,
plate them up, add a little sour cream, and...

Eat with joy!


Thank you,

Happy Chanukah,

~ Cleo Coyle, author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, find out more about my books, or sign up to win free coffee, visit my *virtual* coffeehouse at...


by Cleo Coyle

Holiday Grind: 
A Coffeehouse Mystery,

“Fun and gripping…” —The Huffington Post 

“Some of the most vibrant characters I've ever read. Coyle also is a master of misdirection and red herrings. I challenge any reader to figure out whodunit before Coyle reveals all.” Mystery Scene