Sunday, February 16, 2014

RSBC Week 2: Susie's Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup, plus a Visit from Cupid

We all know that mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery.  So when carrots and ginger were highlighted as this week's Run Swim Bike Cook challenge, I immediately knew what I wanted to make:  Grandma Susie's Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup.  It may not be an original recipe for balancefoods guru Chef Christy who has savored this soup often around her mother's kitchen table.   Even so, it's a recipe I've always wanted to make, and as always, RSBC was the perfect excuse to get it done.

So without any further delay: the recipe.
Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup

1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 lb parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1 large onion, sliced
3 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp packed dark-brown sugar
8 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup creme fraiche
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine carrots, parsnips, onion and ginger in a shallow roasting pan to fit.  Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Pour 2 cups of broth into the pan, cover well with foil and bake until vegetables are very tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer the vegetables and broth to a large pot; add the remaining 6 cups of broth, salt and cayenne pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Puree the soup in blender or food processor, adding more broth if necessary.  (We use a stick hand blender.)  Return the soup to the pot; adjust the seasonings and heat through.  Serve each portion dolloped with a teaspoon of creme fraiche (plain yogurt works, or sour cream diluted with some whipping cream) and sprinkled with chives.

Serves: 10 people
I followed the recipe closely, with the exception of the fresh chives, which I omitted since I couldn't go snip them from Susie's garden.  After sampling, the family declared the heirloom recipe worthy of its heritage.

The kids decided that such a special meal deserved its very own menu and name cards.

Ideally, Susie's carrot ginger soup was meant to be accompanied by Chou's carrot ginger tea scones.  In the end, I accidentally omitted the ginger, a brilliant mistake since now I'm just itching to make them again.

This wasn't the only special meal of the week.  On Valentine's Day, the entire family was treated to a meal at Cupid's Crazy Cafe.  

The kids helped us get into the Valentine spirit with lots of decorations.

 The Cafe is open and dinner is served!

Everyone received their own menu and chose between some unusual dishes: Huggin', Cuddlin', Snugglin', Squeezin', Smoochin', Kissin', and Lovin'.

In the end, everyone was served chicken cordon bleu over rice,strawberry-pecan spinach salad, cranberry focaccia, raspberry-cranberry jello, heart-shaped carrots, cran-raspberry drink, chocolate covered strawberries, and a straw, albeit in very unusual sequences.

 In the end, Cupid's Crazy Cafe was a fabulously fun and fantastically fatiguing.  It will certainly need a year to recover before I am crazy enough to consider it again. 

Last but not least, we made these adorable twist heart  hairstyles, courtesy of  Our styles may not look quite as perfect as the demo, but hey, they'd already survived a day of school, plus we managed to actually style the baby.
Hope everyone had a delightful Valentine's Day!

Oh, and before I forget, here are my Triathlon totals:

Running: 16.5 miles
Swimming: 1.3 miles
Biking: 70.5 miles

I'm definitely more than halfway there, but we'll see what next week brings.  If everything stays according to plan, we're supposed to close on a house and move most of our belongings, so life will certainly be busy!  Wish us luck...  We'll need it.


Anonymous said...

The heart styled hair was a fun and loving touch to already stunningly beautiful girls. Every day brings another happy surprise!

Julie L said...

Fun! Fun!! Fun!!! All the way around.

I've never tasted Susie's soup - must give it a try! Looks really yummy. And good luck on the house closing and moving. Looking forward to a few pictures.

Susie said...

What a fun Valentine Day celebration! I understand the "fatigue" comments, but the kids will always remember this with lots of happy thoughts. Thankfully, we don't have to go to that extent every day! The hairstyles are sure cute!!