I’m lucky to work a couple of days each week in the vicinity of the Union Square farmer’s market. Literally taking over the entire square, I’m always amazed at the range of options… and the throngs of New Yorkers, consciously or unconsciously, shopping local food!
And this week’s visit to the market was, indeed, a scene of magnificence. Piles upon piles of colorful root vegetables, and squash of all shapes and textures. I found myself overwhelmed, and laden with a heavy grocery sack long before making it all the way to the other end of the square! (Root veggies are bicep-builders, you see… all that lugging around).
You only live once.
A sensible acorn squash, a bag of onions, and a container of aromatic chili peppers rounded out my near overflowing bag.
But the carrots! Good for the eyesight, and healthy for the rest of you, too… you can’t go wrong.
The orange ones contain the most carotene (a substance that is converted to the antioxidant Vitamin A in the body). But the purple ones also bear the red-blue pigment known as anthocyanin- the same antioxidants found in blueberries- (i.e. the season is no excuse to not eat the rainbow!).
These substances (especially from whole food) are protective against cell damage in the body- and possibly even protective against cancer. You heard me. Eat your veggies!
Here’s a little inspiration!
Carrot Ginger Soup (adapted from Simple Recipes)
Makes 4 servings
1 Potato, cut into cubes
1 large yellow Onion (or 3 of my little ones from the market!), chopped
3 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh Ginger, minced
3 cups of chicken or vegetable Stock (I finally got around to using my homemade from the freezer!)
1 cup of Water
Salt & Pepper
In a large saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of stock, chopped onions and garlic, over medium heat, and cook until onions become tender and translucent, stirring periodically (approx. 5 minutes). Add in the carrots, potato, ginger, remaining stock, and water. Add a few dashes of salt, and a few dashes of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes (or until veggies are tender).
If you have an immersion blender (they rock…. thanks Aunt Kate!), gently immerse in the soup and blend until smooth. You can also blend in a regular blender- preferably in smaller batches. Serve straight up, or maybe garnish with parsley or chopped scallions if you’re feelin’ fancy. I like to make this ahead and eat it a day or two later, or freeze for future quick meals). As with most soups/stews- the flavor only gets better with ‘age.’
Makes 2 servings
4 medium Carrots, tops removed, sliced in half
3 small onions, skinned, and sliced in half
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (your choice, I used rosemary and thyme from my window box)
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Place the halved carrots and onions on a large baking sheet. Use a pastry brush, or drizzle the olive oil evenly over the vegetables. Sprinkle the herbs over the vegetables. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the lot. Place the tray in the oven, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots and onions are tender. Serve hot, or warm.
Hope you are having a great start to fall!