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“An apple a day” and ‘Eh, What’s up Doc?’

I am sure it has become abundantly clear to all that my top comfort food is soup. During these turbulent and uncertain times, I bring you another soup recipe. Once again it is inspired by the produce I received in the farmer’s market box from McClendon Select. I used the onion, leeks and the two bunches of yellow carrots from the photo above. When you purchase carrots from the grocery store, they rarely have the green tops attached. These carrots looked as if they were freshly plucked from the ground the very morning they were received. I just had to use those gorgeous tops for a pesto garnish. Of course, you do not need to use any garnish for this soup, but if you have the tops, please do not waste them. I also used the leeks from the box for a second garnish of frizzled leeks. Frizzled leeks are often used to garnish grilled meats but they are equally wonderful atop soups and salads.

Since carrots are once again the main ingredient of a soup recipe, I have a little carrot trivia for you:

Did you know?

Bugs Bunny’s nonchalant carrot-chewing standing position originated in a scene in the 1934 film It Happened One Night, in which Clark Gable’s character leans against a fence, rapidly eating carrots and talking with his mouth full to Claudette Colbert’s character.

Yellow Carrot and Apple Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound yellow carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Honey, optional
  • Optional garnishes: Frizzled Leeks and Carrot Top Pesto, recipes below

In a large pot, heat the olive oil, add the onion and celery and sauté over medium-high heat until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Add the sliced carrots, stir to coat and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the apples and stock, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Remove from the heat, and transfer to a food processor or blender, pureé until smooth and creamy.

Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, add a light drizzle of honey to the blender, blend, and taste again, adjusting seasoning to your taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with frizzled leeks and carrot top pesto, if desired.

Serves 6

Frizzled Leeks

  • 1 medium leek, trimmed of roots
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek, discard the dark green tops. Rinse sliced leeks in a bowl of water to remove the grit, lift out with a slotted spoon to paper towels and thoroughly dry before frying to reduce splattering.

Add about a half-inch of oil to a small skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat until it glistens. Reduce the heat to medium. Add a small handful of the leeks to the oil. (Always fry in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and to prevent boil-overs.)

Fry the leeks, stirring often with a slotted spoon until light golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Lift the leeks from the oil using the slotted spoon and transfer to a thick layer of paper towels.

Sprinkle the leeks lightly with salt while they’re still hot. Let cool to room temperature before using.

Carrot Top Pesto

  • Carrot tops from 1 bunch of carrots, thick stems removed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Zest and juice from 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pesto: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water in it. Once boiling, add the carrot tops to the pot. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 2 minutes or until bright green and tender. Use a slotted spoon to lift the greens from the water and place in the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once completely chilled, transfer to a colander and drain. Then wring out excess liquid, and out on paper towels to dry.

Add all of the remaining pesto ingredients to the food processor, except the oil. Blend until thick paste forms. Add the olive oil slowly through the feed tube with the machine running. Taste and season with salt, pepper, add more lemon juice if needed. Use to garnish the soup. Remaining may be used on fresh pasta.

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1 Shirley { 03.31.20 at 6:46 AM }

Beautiful! Thank you so much for the soup recipes and helping us stay healthy while we are “staying home.” You are the “silver lining” in the dark cloud.

2 Linda Hopkins { 03.31.20 at 1:36 PM }

Shirley, You are my silver lining! Thank you for always sending over the sweetest and kindest comments. Stay well! xoxo

3 marissa { 04.02.20 at 8:55 AM }

This soup was so, so good! Of course we made some grilled cheese to go with it. Thank you for helping my use up the world’s hugest carrots 🙂

4 Linda Hopkins { 04.02.20 at 9:10 AM }