Monday, May 11, 2009


Chilled Carrot-Apricot Soup

Oh wow. Last week…it was so terrific…cherry cherries had appeared in the market. This week…like a little, fragrant gift…apricots. I was so ecstatic. Such an amazing thing, a perfect apricot!

I had been toying all week with the idea of making a carrot-apricot soup (the idea filled my head and just had to be seen through!) and was kinda-sorta geared up to get it going…(don't you love the way I interrupt myself with parenthetical comments? LOL. too.) but I knew I really had to be patient and not pouty if there weren’t any around yet when I arrived at the Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market.

Then happiness prevailed…they were there! Golden, sweet.

And because someone was smiling down on me, I even scored some (super inexpensive! Joyous bonus!) of the “slightly blemished” beauties for $0.25/pound and with a song in my heart I got home and got my soup under way.

This is just too, too easy to bring together. The trick is to really use the most amazing, top quality, flavorful produce you can get. Really...otherwise it's just going to be plain.

I sort of fell in love with the idea of this looking like a melted creamsicle too…giving the illusion it has cream in it…without really having any, so I went with white carrots. You can use orange, of course if you can't find white.

The flavor of apricot should not be pronounced in the soup either…it should just be something you catch at the end of a bite. If your apricots are large, use less. And if you find the whole soup is a bit too delicate for you (I do tend to like very light flavors.) try adding some curry leaves or a bit of orange zest.

Now try this my peaches, and taste the joy!

Cold Carrot-Apricot Soup

1 T. olive oil
1 large leek, cleaned, sliced (white part only)
6 white carrots, peeled, sliced into thin rounds
3 apricots, pulp only
4 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
optional: heavy cream or yogurt to garnish (I tried both and much preferred the cream…but didn't think it needed either...)

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Add the leeks and cook until just soft but not browned. Add the carrot, chicken stock, apricot pulp and salt.

Puree. Pass through a strainer if you want it smoother. Otherwise, chill and enjoy.

Makes four to six servings.

© 2009 Fresh Approach Cooking

© 2009 Rachael at "Fresh Approach Cooking" If you are not reading this at the aforementioned URL or in your RSS feed, the site you are looking at are violating my copyright. And that's rude.

Carrot museum!!!

90% of the apricots grown commercially in the United States come from California

Ilva once made a similar soup...check it out!

Apricot means "precious" in Latin. (I keep giggling imagining Golum referring to the Ring as "My Apricot.")

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Canyon Ranch: Nourish. Book Review

I had to pop in this post…because it’s just hard to resist. Even if my cookbook review skills are notoriously lacking…

I just wanted all you peaches to know how much I really, really like this cookbook, Nourish, Indulgently Healthy Cuisine, from Scott Uehlein at the luxurious and lovely Canyon Ranch Spa and that I urge you to get a copy for yourself.

There are a gazillion of books out there (and many just out in my living room too.) which speak to all sorts of cuisines and fads and fancies. Canyon Ranch: Nourish is not a book like that. It doesn’t pander or preach, or set it's self in some sort of limited category, it just sets forth food you will want to cook.

What sets this apart is that it is that rare thing…a book full of delicious, interesting but approachable recipes that cover a wide range of techniques and tastes without seeming like its oh-so-very-niche. (A good thing in my mind. I mean…I love my macrobiotic-Armenian-soups cookbook but how often do I pull such a thing out?) It’s for people who want dinner. Plain and simple.

While the recipes are all healthy, (having been written by the chef at a world famous health spa and all) it’s all logical healthy. Things people want to eat that happily are good for you too. (How about Chili-Rubbed Tequila Shrimp or Baked Lasagna with Meat Sauce. Italian Vegetable Soup with Cannellini Beans? See.) Pretty fab, right?

There are beautiful (approachable!) photos and calorie counts and explanations too. A few nods to green living and sustainable choices, and voila…a perfect cookbook for the ages. Real, healthy food. (Without any gimmicks. No weird fillers or strange concoctions. Just honest food.)

If you are the type of home cook who wants to open a book for inspiration, information and a bit of hunger-inducing photography…check this one out. It has all that, in spades.

Now if someone would just invite me to the Canyon Ranch Spa to check out the food in person…

© 2009 Fresh Approach Cooking

© 2009 Rachael at "Fresh Approach Cooking" If you are not reading this at the aforementioned URL or in your RSS feed, the site you are looking at are violating my copyright. And that's rude.

"Founded in 1979, Canyon Ranch in Tucson resides in the foothills of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains. "

Nourish - To feed and cause to grow; to supply with matter, promote health; to furnish with nutriment. To supply the means of support and increase to; to encourage; to foster; as, to nourish rebellion; to nourish the virtues.

Heart of palm, also called palm heart, burglar's thigh, palmito, chonta or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core of certain palm trees. - Wiki

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