Carrot Soup Recipe


On December 11, 2008 I blogged about my final vegetable harvest of the season. I had just pulled my last carrots out of my raised beds the day before and went on to promise a recipe for my carrot soup. So here it is:

2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 medium-sized yellow onions, peeled and roughly cut
1 stalk celery, roughly cut
3 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
kosher salt and white pepper to taste

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 dash freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt and white pepper to taste
2 teaspoons chopped dill
1/4 cup crisp nutmeg croutons

8 dill sprigs for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a large (4-quart) saucepan. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in carrots, celery, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Blend the soup with either a handheld immersion blender or in a regular household blender until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.
3. To serve, whip the cream to stiff peaks and season with nutmeg, salt, white pepper and chopped dill. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with a spoon of whipped cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg croutons and top with a dill sprig. Serve immediately.

Final Vegetable Harvest of 2008

After weeks of cold weather, snow and ice, the ground has thawed enough for me to get my final harvest of carrots out of my raised bed garden. If you recall from my May 12, 2008 blog article titled “New Herb & Vegetable Garden Beds” I planted the carrot seeds on April 15th, harvesting most of the vegetables throughout the summer, and left a few patches of carrots to mature in the ground until yesterday (December 10, 2008.) With numb fingers, I returned to the kitchen and washed the dirt from the carrots. They were sweet and delicious. I have a carrot soup on the menu this Sunday, December 14, 2008 and they will be the star attraction. Watch for the carrot soup recipe in an upcoming blog.

I had a great deal of fun with my gardens this summer and with expert assistance from Shelley (my vegetable garden guru), I had the best yield of home grown fruits and vegetables ever to use in the restaurant. With my last crop harvested and my fingers thawed, it is time to sit down and start planning next year’s gardens. Below I have included a few pictures from my 2008 harvest.

New Herb & Vegetable Garden Beds

This Spring I completely updated all of my kitchen garden beds here at the Hartstone Inn. I planted my early spring seeds (red oak lettuce, lolla rossa, mache, mesclun, radish, beets, carrots, chervil, chives and Italian parsley) on April 15th in new raised beds, using the “Square Foot Garden” technique. I made the beds using small tree saplings, weaving the thinner trees in and out of stakes made from the larger saplings. The design for the planters came from some beds I encountered in the Loire region of France this past winter. The plants seem very happy in their new home and the comments from the guests have been pouring in. Last week I planted my garden bed behind the barn and sowed pumpkins, fennel, nasturtiums, bachelor buttons and dill seeds in addition to more of the seeds listed above. My first harvest of rhubarb took place last week, chives have been making their way to the dinner plates all week and the first batch of radishes should be ready in 3-4 days. The joys we get from our Spring gardens!