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Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

CSA member Jessica Smolar submitted this recipe at breakfast, many thanks!

Serves: 3 to 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 heaping cups chopped carrots (save carrot tops)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed orange juice
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
coconut milk for garnish (optional)

Carrot Top Pesto:
1/4 cup pepitas
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot tops
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the smashed garlic cloves (they’ll get blended later) and chopped carrots to the pot and cook about 8 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the ginger, then add the apple cider vinegar, and then add 3 to 4 cups of broth, depending on your desired consistency. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.

Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add maple syrup, if desired.

Make the pesto: Wash your carrot tops well, and set them aside to dry. Pulse the pepitas and the garlic in a food processor with pinches of salt and pepper, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add the carrot tops and pulse again. Add the lemon juice and pulse again. While the blade is running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto blends smoothly. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding the maple syrup if it’s too bitter, or a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese if it’s too grassy.

Serve the soup with the pesto on the side. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.







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