This month we are making the most of Sydney’s carrot glut in the kitchen with Kate Hemphill’s roast carrot humous with carrot top pesto, carrot and date wholemeal muffins, some classic carrot soup and salad recipes from Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson and Barbara Solomon’s chicken and barley soup from the Monday Morning Cooking Club.
STICKS, SEEDS, PODS and LEAVES
Kate Hemphill is a trained chef. She contributed the recipes to Ian Hemphill’s best-selling Spice and Herb Bible. You will find more of her recipes on the Herbies spices website. Or you can follow her on Instagram (@herbieskitchen). Kate uses Herbies spices and blends, but you can substitute with whatever you have in your pantry.
ROAST CARROT HOMMOUS WITH CARROT TOP and MINT PESTO
Instead of throwing away the tops of lovely fresh carrots, make this versatile pesto with the leafy ends. Makes approx 2 cups of hommous and 1 cup of pesto.
1 bunch carrots, with tops, washed and cut into 5cm (2in) pieces
1 tbsp olive oil ½ tsp ground cumin
400g (14oz) can chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp tahini
1 small clove garlic
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
75ml (2½fl oz) olive oil
2 cups carrot tops, loosely packed
1 cup flat leaf parsley, loosely packed
3 sprigs mint, leaves picked
1 clove garlic
40g (1½oz) parmesan, grated
30g (1oz) pine nuts
100ml (3½fl oz) olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Toss carrots in olive oil and cumin and roast for 40 minutes until soft and browned. • To make hommous, combine cooked carrots with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend while pouring in oil and blitz until smooth. • For the pesto, pulse carrot tops, parsley, mint, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor to break down, then add oil while blending. Season to taste.
Per serve (75 g)
740kJ/175 calories; 3.5g protein; 15g fat (includes 2.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.2); 5g available carbs (includes 1.5g sugars and 3.5g starches); 3g fibre; 125mg sodium; 185mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.68
CARROT and CASSIA DATE MUFFINS
The mashed carrot gives a wonderful moist texture and the dates give a natural sweetness to this tasty, better-for-you, lunchbox treat. Prep: 15 mins • Cook: 30 mins • Makes: 12
500g (1lb 2oz) carrots, peeled, boiled until tender, and drained
100ml (3½fl oz) vegetable oil
1 cup semi-skimmed milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten 400g (14oz)
wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cassia or cinnamon
75g (2½oz) soft brown sugar
100g (3½oz) pitted dates, chopped
Pre-heat oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease or line a 12-hole large muffin pan or two 12-hole mini muffin pans • Mash or blitz carrots to a smooth puree and combine in a bowl with the oil, milk, and eggs. • Combine the flour, sugar, cassia and dates in large bowl, then add the carrot mixture, stirring until well combined. Spoon the batter into greased or lined muffin pan holes and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. • Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, muffins will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
Per muffin (or 2 mini muffins)
1105kJ/265 calories; 6g protein; 9.5g fat (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.12); 36g available carbs (includes 15g sugars and 21g starches); 6g fibre; 255mg sodium; 330mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.77
We have been seduced to look for new recipes in the latest cookbooks by the hottest chefs with the most gorgeous photographs. Frankly, if you want a simple vegetable soup or salad, turn to the time-tested classics: the books of Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson. The writing is good. The food fabulous.
Elizabeth David’s classic carrot soup from French Provincial Cooking. Why Crecy? It’s reputed to have the best carrots in France and as David says, “It’s important to have very good quality carrots”.
375g (¾lb) carrots, 1 large potato, 1 shallot or half a small onion, 30g (1oz) butter, 600ml (1 pint) veal, chicken or vegetable stock, or water if no stock is available, seasoning, parsley and chervil if possible.
Scrape the carrots, shred them on a coarse grater, put them together with the chopped shallot and the peeled and diced potato in a thick pan with the melted butter. Season with salt, pepper, a scrap of sugar. Cover the pan, and leave over a very low flame for about 15 minutes, until the carrots have almost melted to a purée. Pour over the stock, and simmer another 15 minutes. Sieve (blend), return the purée to the pan, see that the seasoning is correct, add a little chopped parsley and some leaves of chervil. Enough for three.
From Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, the go-to book for the definitive guide on the selection and cooking vegetable. Still.
Grated raw carrots, dressed with an olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette and plenty of chopped herbs – either fennel or tarragon, or chives and parsley mixed. Chill well and drain off any surplus liquid before serving.
CARROT SALAD WITH RAISINS
As above, but instead of herbs use seedless raisins and split (slivered) almonds. The flavour is improved if you toast the almonds.
MONDAY MORNING COOKING CLUB
Monday Morning Cooking Club started back in 2006 when six Jewish women who live in Sydney came together on a Monday morning to share recipes and talk about food. What they started as an idea to raise money for charity, grew into a project to document their community’s somewhat obsessive relationship with food, and has become a series of beautifully photographed books.
CHICKEN AND BARLEY SOUP
Barbara Solomon’s totally, totally delicious soup from the Monday Morning Cooking Club (their first book) may not cure a cold but it sure nourishes body and soul. Use leftover roast chicken, or pick up half a chicken from the takeaway and shred the flesh, discarding the skin and bones. Makes 8 servings.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g (14oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
8 cups chicken stock (home-made is best, but a bouillon cube is fine)
1 cup pearl barley
2 cups shredded chicken meat (no skin)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, carrots and celery until soft. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. • Add the barley and reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook for about 50 minutes (no lid) or until the barley is tender. Add the chicken and parsley, and stir to heat through. Season well and serve.
Per serving (based on making 8 servings)
Energy: 885kJ/210cals; Protein 12g; Fat 8.5g (includes 1.6g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0. 23); Available carbohydrate 20g; Fibre 4.5g