Carrot Soup + Biscuits for Friends

A gift for an ailing friend.

Carrot Soup

I know. I know.  It is July.  It is hot.  Who wants to stand over a stove and make soup?!  Well, me.  A few things led me to this:
  1. Evie and I were going to be hosting three of her friends over a lunchtime.
  2. These three friends, sisters, eat very healthy in their home, I didn't want to serve anything unhealthy!
  3. Evie loves "creamy goodness" soups.  This one qualified.
  4. I was working from home, and therefore able to spend some extra time in the kitchen.
There were a few other factors, such as why on earth carrot soup?!  But, really, I cannot remember exactly why I chose this particular type of soup.  I used a couple of different recipes, but mostly one from Super Natural Cooking that, until today, I hadn't had much success with recipes from that cookbook. I may have to give that book a second try.  Now that the soup recipe was formed in my head, then it was time to turn my attention to biscuits to go with the soup.

Cook Book Treasures

When I have extra time in the kitchen, I like to go through my older cookbook collection and try out an old-school recipe.  I discussed my cookbooks in a post once, but for those of you who missed it, I collect old cookbooks (and new cookbooks, and international cookbooks...).  It started on our honeymoon, when we found a used bookstore.  I found two old home economics textbooks from the 30s that were both hilarious and treasures at the same time.  Since then, I have received others as gifts.  Today's was part of a collection given to me after my Mother's friend Nancy lost her mother a few years ago.

These are special to me for that reason, and for the goodies inside.  My favorite thing in a cookbook is to find signs of use: food stuck to pages, handwritten notations, even doodles.  If you look closely, you can see the dried flour batter bits on this page.  I imagine Dottie touching the page carefully as she checks ingredients while preparing a meal for her family.  The first copyright on this book is 1942, the version I have is 1961.

I used the buttermilk biscuits recipe, in order to use up the buttermilk in the refrigerator from last week's meal plan.  I had the exact amount needed, what are the odds?!  These biscuits turned out great, the kids gobbled them up, crumbled them into the soup, and dipping them, along with apple slices, into the creamy orange soup.  I was happy to have put together a healthy, fun meal for the four little cherubs that spent the morning happily playing with dolls in imaginary home and school settings.


Buttermilk Biscuits

The Modern Family Cookbook ©1961

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk

Sift flour, measure and resift 3 times with rest of dry ingredients, the 3rd time into mixing bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, or rub in with finger tips.  Stir in buttermilk.  When thoroughly mixed, turn onto lightly floured board, knead a dozen times, and roll from 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick.  Cut with floured biscuit cutter and place on a greased baking sheet; brush tops with melted butter.  Bake in a hot oven (450°F) 12 to 15 minutes [mine were done in about 11].  Serve hot, they harden when cooled.

Carrot and Honey Soup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (to make this vegan, use olive or coconut oil in place)
3 ribs celery, preferably three inner-stalks, minced, include leaves.
1 large yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced  
2 lbs carrots, cleaned, peeled, cut into pieces (if you don't have a Vitamix, cut them small and                                                                                       uniformly)
6 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and black pepper
2-3 tablespoons raw, unprocessed honey

Start by heating a large stock pot on medium heat, melt butter.  Toss in the minced celery, onion, and garlic.  Sauté until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add in the carrots, a couple pinches of salt, and a few turns of pepper.  Sauté for another 5 minutes.  Add in 6 cups vegetable stock.  I share below one of my kitchen tricks: using a sharpie to write the date you've opened a container of stock (should you not have any homemade on hand).  That way, when you find it in the back of the refrigerator later, you don't have to wonder "hey! when did I open this one?!"

Bring soup to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until carrots are tender.  Stir in honey off-heat, then put the soup, in batches, into a blender, taking care not to burn yourself.  Pour blended, creamy soup batches into a large bowl, adding each batch and stirring to distribute evenly.  Test for salt levels, add more kosher salt and more honey as you deem necessary.  Ladle into bowls, serve, enjoy! 

I mean seriously, can you stand the cuteness?  AND, they all loved the meal! 


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