Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget by Amy McCoy includes recipes like Roasted Carrots with Thyme; Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup; Roasted Cauliflower; and Roasted Beets with Caramelized Beet Greens and Orange-Walnut Pesto.
Serves 4, $5.00 to $10.00
I do not normally love carrot soup—I generally find it a bit too bland for my liking—so I decided that if one were to appear in the pages of this book, it would need some jazzing up. I had a surplus batch of Roasted Carrots with Thyme that needed to be consumed—for I do despise food waste—and I just happen to have some lime hanging around in the refrigerator. It was just a few short mental steps that brought me to the idea of using that lime and adding ginger for a spicy soup. And now I cannot ever again say that I do not love carrot soup, for this one is quite deserving of affection.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until softened and aromatic—yes, you will be able to smell the aroma of the leek—3 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger and crushed red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 minute to meld the flavars. Add the carrots and broth, and bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to lukewarm to avoid a hot liquid pureeing disaster (see page xv).
2. Once the carrot mixture is lukewarm, puree it in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. You could also use an immersion blender for this step if you prefer. Transfer the pureed batches to a large heatproof bowl, 8-cup capacity at the minimum, and then return the entire stunningly gorgeous orange puree back to the large saucepan. Bring the contents back to your desired serving temperature, and add the lime zest and juice. Stir well to combine the flavors, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve it forth. If they like spice, don't be surprised if your family informs you that this is the best carrot soup ever.
Estimated cost for four: $6.45. The Roasted Carrots with Thyme cost $2.05 without the butter. The olive oil for sautéing the base of our soup is 36¢. The leek will cost around $1.00. I always purchase a small piece of ginger, lest a larger piece rot in my refrigerator awaiting other use, and you may be surprised to know that I usually spend 11¢ or 12¢ on an approximately 1-inch cube of ginger root, which is all you need for this soup. The crushed red pepper flakes are estimated at 3¢. A lone lime will cost you 50¢, though you know and I know that you can do better than that. However, I like to estimate up so that you and I may both be pleasantly surprised. The vegetable broth cost $2.39 for a 4-cup container, though you may want to consider the Vegetable Scrap Stock (page 1) as a cost-saving alternative. After all, you're already using the veggies from which the scraps derive in other dishes.
If you are feeling fancy, you may want to add a tablespoon of sour cream to each of your family's bowls, for an added cost of 8¢ each at $2.19 for 30 tablespoons.
You'll notice that this book—and many, many other cookbooks—asks that various concoctions be simmered. A simmer is simply cooking a liquid at a point just below a boil. Instead of the vigorous, constant stream of rolling bubbles that constitute a boil. You want a steady, gentle bubbling happening in various locations around your cooking vessel.
This page created October 2010
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