Carrot Parsnip & Apple Soup

I don’t remember ever making carrot soup, but a friend of mine made one a few weeks ago that was so good and sounded so easy, it inspired me to try one myself.

carrot soupI consulted three or four recipes, looked in my fridge, and started cooking. Soups are great for experimenting with different combinations of flavours and ingredients. I like a thick, hearty soup for winter, so I usually go heavy on the vegetables, and light on the liquid. You can always thin out the soup later by adding water, a bit at a time.

I used baby carrots because I had them on hand, plus it meant less work (no need to chop them), and I used organic Royal Gala apples, my favourite variety. Apples are one of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated by pesticides, and I make a point of buying organic ones when I can.

The soup was flavourful and more than enough for the 10 people at my table on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s my recipe:

Carrot Parsnip & Apple Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

fresh ginger, grated

1/4 tsp. curry powder (or more to taste)

2 lbs. baby carrots (or 2 lbs, large carrots, cut in chunks)

1 lb. parsnips, cut in chunks

2 apples, peeled and chopped

7 cups water

2-3 tbsp. fresh chopped dill

1. Heat oil in large pot on medium high until one piece of onion starts to sizzle. Add garlic, rest of onion, fresh ginger to taste, and curry powder. Sauté two minutes.

2. Add carrots, parsnips and apples. Stir together with onion mixture, then add water.

3. Bring to boil.

4. Reduce heat, and simmer covered until vegetables and apples are soft, about 35 minutes.

5. Add dill, and cook five more minutes.

6. Purée with immersion blender.


Red Lentil Soup

With minus-double-digit weather outside, and a sore throat that’s lasted a full week, it was an easy choice for me to decide to make red lentil soup a couple of days ago.

It’s definitely a winter soup, thick and warming. Sometimes I like to purée it with an immersion blender, but this time I was happy to leave it chunky. It wasn’t very pretty, though, so I’m just including a picture of the vegetables.

vegs for soup

I have three go-to red lentil soup recipes, but this time used them only for inspiration. I referred to them to make sure my proportions of lentils, water and vegetables were on target.  The recipes I usually use are the Lemon-Lentil Soup from The Organic Kosher Cookbook, by Aviva Allen; Red Lentil, Vegetable & Barley Soup from MealLeaniYumm! by Norene Gilletz; and Lentil Vegetable Soup from Simply HeartSmart Cooking by Bonnie Stern.

This is the version I came up with a couple of days ago, inspired by my favourite soup recipes and the ingredients in my kitchen:

Red Lentil Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery

1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut in pieces

1 yellow squash

2 cups red lentils, rinsed

8 cups of water

basil, oregano and thyme to taste

2 tbsp. fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté onion and garlic until just starting to brown.

2. Add the rest of the vegetables, and stir together.

3. Add lentils, water and spices.

4. Bring to boil, then turn down heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

5. Add parsley, and cook five more minutes.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy! (It’s even better the next day.)