My alternate title for this post was “what to do when you pick 11 pounds of carrots” because that’s how this all began. Yesterday morning I went out into the garden and set to picking carrots. This time of year the garden has usually gotten pretty out of hand so I try to focus on my task at hand and ignore the craziness all around me or the garden would become a place of stress instead of a place of joy. Anyway, my focus was on carrots yesterday. I pulled those frilly green tops until I had a 5-gallon bucketful. Then I came inside and thought to myself: ok, now what? I cleaned and weighed them to see what I had to work with… 11 pounds of great big round and squat carrots.
I’ve been trying harder to preserve food in ways that we will really use. In the past, when I was newer at this, I would have put up dozens of jars of spicy pickled carrots. Now, however, I know that we will never consume that many jars of one thing. So, instead I decided to do some soup and some jars of plain carrot rounds which I can add to a variety of recipes this winter.
I pulled out my recipe for the soup (from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook) and found with delight that I had everything I needed expect the butter, ginger and spices right from my garden. I keep loads of broth in the freezer, which I make any time we have a carcass leftover from a meal. So, I was set!
I decided to triple the recipe so I’d have lots of jars of soup. That would use up 9 pounds of carrots and the rest I could can plain.
First thing I had to do was prep by carrots. I sat at the table and patiently peeled, trimmed and sliced the carrots. I did them three pounds at a time so I could keep track of how much went for each recipe.
Next I prepped my onions, garlic, celery and ginger according to the recipe. Again, I kept these separate per recipe because my pot wasn’t big enough to hold the recipe x3.
I always keep a bag a scraps in the freezer so when I go to make broth I have onion skins, celery tops and other bits of goodness like pieces of fresh herbs to flavor the broth. It’s a good habit to get into if you plan on making broth regularly. I am a bit of a hoarder in the kitchen but it pays off. I love that nothing goes to waste!
The soup comes to a boil and then simmers for about a half hour. Then you use your immersion blender to puree it.
Time to fill jars. The recipe x3 filled nine quart jars.
Only seven fit in my pressure canner so I put two in the fridge – one for me to eat right away and one to gift to my sweet neighbor Rita.
The jars get processed at 10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes in the pressure canner. It’s a lengthy process but I’ll be happy I did it come fall and winter when I’m enjoying Carrot Ginger Soup made almost entirely from garden ingredients.
Here’s my supervisor, hard at work…
I hope you’ll try making this soup, even if you just make it to enjoy fresh. It will fill your kitchen with delightful smells and your tummy with sweet, nutritious goodness. Enjoy!