Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter Carrots: Carrot & Miso Soup

My kids are crazy about winter carrots. It really started out with DH buying a massive (and I do mean MASSIVE) bag full of carrots once in the winter. Surprisingly they were quickly devoured & so we bought another & another.....These aren't just ordinary carrots, they're winter carrots. And by that you have to understand that when the temperature goes down the carrot makes more sugar to keep from freezing, hence the sweeter carrots. The colder the weather the better the carrot.

It's totally uncontrolled "Rabbit syndrome" at my house when this happens. The kids walk around the house munching on small whole carrots and usually don't even bother peeling them anymore. The skins are thin & the carrots themselves are almost translucent, crisp, shining & juicy. Mr Trav. talks about winter carrots every time we eat carrot sticks all year round.

So I'm terribly happy my soon to be 3 year old lady decided on "Bill's Big Carrot Cake" (undeniably the best carrot cake ever) for her birthday.

And if you're feeling a little experimental here's a recipe from "Harumi's Home cooking" that I like to make in the winter:

Carrot & Miso Soup:

100g carrots (one large or two smallish carrots)
2 c water
1 chicken stock cube
1 rasher streaky bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped Celery
1/2 tsp awase miso (I like using red miso best, for this, but I think any miso will do)
Salt & Pepper
Chopped cilantro to garnish (I use negi, of course, seeing as cilantro is not very cheap)

1. Peel carrots & cut into 3 cm think round slices
put the water & chicken stock in a pan & bring to a boil. Add carrots & over with a drop lid. (Simple "drop lid" explanation)

2. Turn down the heat & simmer until cooked. Remove from the heat & mash the cooked carrots in the remaining liquid.

3. Cut the bacon into small pieces. In a frying pan, heat the oil & cook the chopped bacon till crisp. Turn off heat & mix in chopped celery. Add to the carrot soup.

4. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat & mix in the miso & season w/ s&p. (remember, boiling miso is UNCOOL & will change the texture & flavor) Pour into bowls, sprinkle w/ cilantro (or negi)
Happy Winter days!


Kari said...

These ARE good carrots!
TXS for letting us drop by the other day Al, was great to see youes and we hope to swarm your happy home with 3 rascally girls soon. Love ya!

Nina said...

"Rabbit syndrome"? Did they turn orange in complexion? I hear there is such a thing as Vit. A poisoning (from OD), & that's one of the symptoms. They didn't look particularly yellow in skin color when we came over last nite, so I guess they must not be going too OB; just thot u might wanna know that if their hands start looking yellower than normal, u may want to have'm tone down on the carrot-munching so they don't do damage to themselves (not joking).

That "Big Bill's" really was gd, tho'; somebody took my piece I brought home, since I neglected to put our names on'm, which I was sad about, but was able to get over it by reminding myself that I did after all, get one slice, & also by paraphrasing the "Kite" song, "Lord, that caaake, made me happyyy..." heheh :)

Elaina said...

Winter carrots!!
Sweet memories of Niigata where they were snack food and really almost indistinguishable from kaki.
Al, you must remember the EXCELLENT carrot description from "Farmer Boy" where he digs one up from the field and eats it...boy oh boy.
Who knew one could feel so passionately about a humble root veggie?