Carrot Soup

August 29, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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It could seem, I suppose, that I spend my every waking minute analyzing papal encyclicals or reviewing books about gender and the Catholic church.  But that’s not true.

Take last Sunday.  At the end of the 11:30 AM Mass at Our Lady of Refuge, my parish at the western end of Flatbush here in Brooklyn, a lay leader got up and made an announcement. He said there were a lot of carrots left over from this week’s food pantry and they would be distributed on the way out of church. I didn’t think too much about it.

When I  got outside, however, another gentleman walked up to me and offered me a good-sized bag of such carrots. My husband and I are by no means in the U.S. economic 1 percent, but Refuge is about 2 percent white, so I may well be in the 1 percent there.

“Surely somebody needs these more than I do?” I responded.

“Please, just take them,” the gentleman responded. So I did.

The distance from Refuge to our apartment is about .9 of a mile, so I had occasion to think about how many carrots were in the plastic bag as I walked home. When I weighed them, there were approximately 5.5 pounds of carrots, each two or three inches long and maybe three-quarters of an inch in diameter.

My esteemed companion said “You could always just compost them.”

But  I couldn’t.

The carrots reminded me, somehow, of my five years on the Grail’s farm in southwest Ohio in the 1970s, and particularly of my dear friend Elise Gorges who ran the kitchen there for thirty years or so. Elise died a year and a half ago. I myself never harvested carrots from the Grailville garden, but I just couldn’t imagine Elise throwing all those carrots out.

I’ve got this app on my iPad for recipes from the New York Times, so I plugged in “carrots” and found a very simple recipe for carrot soup. It took me half an hour to cut both ends off the hundred and fifty or so little carrots and give them a scrub in the dish pan. The recipe called for six cups of chicken broth but I didn’t have any on hand and would have to walk over to the food co-op to buy some.

“What would Elise do?” I wondered.

I remembered I did have a bunch of vegetable bullion cubes over on the spice shelf, so I boiled some water, mixed the bullion cubes in , and then cooked the carrots in the liquid for thirty minutes. While they were cooking I sautéed some dried thyme and a bunch of onions (not quite as many as the recipe called for, but seriously, I was not going out to get more!);  when they were done I salted and peppered them. When the carrot and the onions had cooled off a bit, I put it through my forty-year-old Cuisinart food processor.

For supper my husband and I each had a bowl of the carrot soup, along with a grilled cheese sandwich (he’d gotten good at making grilled cheese sandwiches when his sons were little). All told, I made fourteen cups of carrot soup, so we have enough for three more meals in the freezer.

I think Elise would have been pleased.

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6 Comments »

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  1. Yes, Elise would have been pleased! All honor to the Grailville sisters/aunts/mothers who lived their lives with such integrity and changed our lives forever in that woman-centered spirit-filled place we once called home.

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  2. Just wonderful…tis good that you and Keith like carrots!!!
    Love,
    Marcella

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  3. I NEVER thought I would be getting a recipe from you! I am impressed. Did I ever tell you that every summer now I freeze practically all the vegetables and fruit that keep me going all winter. Local and organic instead of shipped from California. Just about the only thing I buy from the supermarket now is milk and the occasional spice. It’s a wonderful feeling. Francine

    >

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  4. This is lovely, Marian. Regina

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  5. I loved this post!!! 😀 I LOVE using things up, making good food out of them …

    From: Marian Ronan <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Marian Ronan <comment+7hdjh-8-_fszy9jvwvmmc9@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 12:38 PM To: Julie Byrne <julie.e.byrne@hofstra.edu> Subject: [New post] Carrot Soup

    Marian Ronan posted: “It could seem, I suppose, that I spend my every waking minute analyzing papal encyclicals or reviewing books about gender and the Catholic church. But that’s not true. Take last Sunday. At the end of the 11:30 AM Mass at Our Lady of Refuge, my parish”

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  6. I loved this post Marian… and I loved remembering Elise. She was a lovely woman.

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