Friday, March 8, 2019

Rainbow Carrot Soup

This seems to be soup week at MLK! I too have a long-treasured recipe for carrot soup, originally called Potage de Crecy. It originated in the lovely Time-Life series of cookbooks (they came in pairs: one book for pretty pictures, one smaller spiral-bound book with the recipes). They date from the 1960s, and my mother bought a few, which I inherited.

The basic soup is delicious, and I’ve made it many times. But this time I went a little crazy. You see, I had a lot of carrots in the fridge, but the majority of them were yellow or ivory, not orange. Oh, there were a few orange ones, and there were also several dark maroon ones (which have a yellow core). I said to myself, “What the heck, it’s almost spring, and Easter, and all that stuff, and it’s snowing out there so I’m not going to the market to bring home one bag of carrots.” So I improvised. Call it Rainbow Carrot Soup or Confetti Soup – it will taste good either way.

Rainbow Carrot Soup

Ingredients (to serve 4-6):

2 Tblsp butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups finely chopped carrots
[Note: I’m not sure food processors had been invented when this recipe was written. Now it’s much easier to chop things. Just stop short of making mush out of them—that’s for later.]
1 quart chicken stock
2 tsp tomato paste
2 Tblsp plain white rice (uncooked)
White pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tblsp soft butter


In a heavy 3 to 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not browned.

Add the carrots, chicken stock, tomato paste and rice and simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Puree the soup (a food mill if you’ve got one, or a food processor or blender) and pour the soup into a clean saucepan. Taste for seasoning and add salt and white pepper to taste. Stir in the cream.

Now comes the fun part. Take whatever color weird carrots you’ve got and coarsely grate them. (If you’re using a food processor and have the grating disk, use that.) Make 1-2 cups of grated carrots, or grate until you run out of the odd-colored carrots.

Add the to the pureed soup (before you add the seasoning and the cream). Simmer for a while (check the carrot shreds—you want them cooked but not mushy. Warning: if everything is mushy, you may end up with gray soup!) When the carrot shreds are soft but still have a bit of crunch, finish the with the seasoning and cream and heat through. Add that last pat of butter and stir it in.

I chose to serve this with cornbread, which had some texture and is just a bit sweet, a nice complement to the carrots.


Help! The coming books list is a bit chaotic at the moment! The next Museum Mystery still doesn't have a name but it should appear next month. I'm proofing the next Victorian Village Mystery, Killer in the Carriage House, as we speak, and that's due out in June. The next County Cork Mystery is finished in draft and is undergoing edits, but it's scheduled to appear next January. And there should be another Orchard Mystery in the fall, if I can find some breathing room!


  1. That looks and sounds great!
    Clever idea to add the "confetti" at the last minute.
    Aren't the multi-colored carrots fun?

    Your schedule sounds a bit daunting. Take a deep breath.
    We appreciate your effort!

  2. I just finished reading The Lost Traveller. Loved it!