Year-round Carrot Soup

Carrots aren’t just side dish components anymore! They takes center stage in this velvety carrot soup.

100_8437I have always loved carrots. Probably more than I should.

The addiction started at a young age, when my mom made us eat some baby carrots with our dinner. Sometimes we’d have to eat our age in carrots, so when I was eight I had to eat eight baby carrots. The addiction wasn’t too bad back then. However, fast forward a few years and I was all about the healthy snacks. Enter carrots and hummus. You could find me in the kitchen after school, chowing down on an entire bag of carrots and some hummus. Yup, an entire bag of baby carrots. They’re small, convenient, low-calorie, and full of nutrients! Washed, peeled, straight-from-the-bag baby carrots are kind of my chip replacement since they are just as convenient as chips but much healthier.

100_8412Actually, I eat SO MANY carrots that the bottoms of my feet are ORANGE, and my hands have an orange hue! It’s because carrots contain so much beta carotene, an orange pigment (more info about that here if you’re curious).

We were talking about beta carotene in my anatomy class this past fall and my teacher challenged us to eat so much pumpkin (in pie) during Thanksgiving that we’d turn orange. I raised my hand and was like, “I’m already orange.” Then I whipped off my boots and showed the class the bottoms of my feet. An awkward moment for Ellie, but whatevs. People thought it was cool. I think it’s pretty rad too. 😉

If you really want, I can show you a picture, but I figured you might lose your appetite if you saw a picture of my feet. 😉 **Is anyone else orange because they eat so many orange vegetables?**100_8392I’ve also been eating carrot baked goods (like these peanut butter carrot muffins) as well as carrot dishes for dinner for a while. One of my favorite carrot dishes? This carrot soup. 

My mom has been making this soup ever since I can remember. It’s super easy to make, plus it feeds the family for a few days- and who doesn’t love leftovers!?

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Basically, I love carrots and therefore I love this soup. Even if you don’t like carrots, you’ll probably like this soup because of the other flavors in it, like onion and pepper. Make it a meal with a side salad, some quinoa, or a big slice (or two) of rustic, artisan bread (like this one which is in the picture). This soup is a great way to take advantage of the upcoming carrot season. I know I’ll be making this soup in a few weeks when the carrots in my garden are ready!

Give this pretty simple soup a try and let me know what you think!

Also, I know it’s summer, BUT this is a year-round soup as it’s light and can be served hot or cold. Plus, it’s frickin’ freezing here in Michigan even though it’s the end of June. Can you say cold front much?

Carrot Soup

vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie

Serves 8

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and loosely chopped (no need to wash, peel, or chop baby carrots though)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt’
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • fresh herbs, such as parsley, to serve (I used cilantro since it was the only fresh herb I had on hand)

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add in carrots, onion, and potato. Sauté for several minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add in the sugar. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add veggie broth and bring the pot to a boil. Then, lower the heat and let the pot simmer for another 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. I used my Vitamix, but a “regular” (not high speed) blender works too! Serve the soup right away- pour it into bowls and garnish with herbs and more salt and pepper (if desired). The rest of the soup can be poured in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for the next few days. Reheated, it’s a perfect quick and nutritious lunch or dinner!

Stay warm and have a great day!

xx Ellie

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Fab Five Friday 6/10/16

Hey friends! It’s finally Friday! It’s finally summer! It’s warm outside, the birds are chirping, I’m listening to some happy music, and I’m baking up a (chocolatey) storm… there’s a lot to celebrate today!

Let’s start with the baking I’m doing. My friend and I are having our grad party tomorrow, and we decided to make all of our own food for the party (we’re quite ambitious that way). I’m baking multiple types of cupcakes and cookies, and I’m making 50-100 of each type. Let’s start with the cookies. They are probably the best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever eat in your entire life. For that reason they are #1 on my fab 5 list!

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  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli

Chloe, a.k.a. my vegan baking inspiration, has created fabulousness again with these cookies. I’ve made them more times than I can count. They’re so dang delicious! The best chocolate chip cookies ever (besides these ones). MAKE THEM. Seriously. Or come to our grad party tomorrow to get some. 😉

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2. Chlostess Cupcakes from Chloe’s Kitchen, also by Chloe Coscarelli

If you haven’t already guessed, I kind of love Chloe and her recipes. These are the cupcakes my mom and I have been making for the party. Chocolate cupcakes filled with a vanilla crème and topped with a chocolate ganache and vanilla crème loops. I’ve also made these more times than I can count, and I highly suggest that you make them!

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3. “Find Out How Obsessed With Peanut Butter You Actually Are” BuzzFeed Quiz

I’m in a serious relationship with peanut butter because I love it so much. Are you really surprised, though? I am Peanut Butter & Ellie, after all! 🙂

How obsessed with peanut butter are you? Tell me in the comments!

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4. The Kids Baking Championship on Netflix 

This is a series of four episodes with eight kids that compete to be the “best” kid baker in the U.S.A.! The kids make a bunch of different desserts in a series of challenges, such as having to make three of their favorite desserts in two hours, making a dessert that looks like a savory food (dessert pizza, tacos, spaghetti, sushi, and burgers), and making sweet and savory éclairs and cream puffs. It’s a fun show, and I want to be baking right there with them!

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5. Last but not least, I’m super excited that my high school tennis team got second in the state tennis championship this past weekend!

Not to brag or anything… I’m just excited and some of you asked how the tournament went so I thought I’d tell you! 🙂 I’m going to miss tennis practice every day with my team. It’s kind of nice to have some free time though!

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Here’s my team: I’m in the bottom row, fourth in if you start on the left side (with the sunglasses on top of my head). 

So that’s my Friday! What are you up to this weekend? If you’re not doing much, I suggest you make either the cookies or cupcakes in this Fab 5 Friday!

xx Ellie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts

Guess what today is!?

The first Thursday of the month!

Guess what that means!?

It’s time for the monthly Peanut Butter Bash” hosted by Miranda of Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt.

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I decided to make mini peanut butter donuts with yogurt, our challenge ingredient for June, because I love donuts and haven’t made them for a while. Plus, mini donuts? SO fun! And you get to eat more of them… 😉

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Coincidentally, Miranda decided to make peanut butter-filled (chocolate glazed) donuts about a week before me, AND one of the other lovely peanut butter bash ladies ALSO made peanut butter donuts! I guess donuts, peanut butter, and yogurt just go reaaaaaallllly well together. 😉

Now I’m going to leave you with some mouthwatering pictures and the recipe because you have donuts to make and I have a state tennis tournament to go play doubles in! Wish my team and I luck as we try to win a high school state championship for girls tennis! 😀

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Soft and Yogurty Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts

makes about 24 mini donuts/ doughnuts

loosely based on this donut recipe

Regular dairy yogurt and milk should work in this recipe, but I can’t guarantee it as I haven’t tried it. I prefer to bake vegan food since I’m vegan! 

For the Donuts:

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup vegan yogurt (I used one container of vegan Almond Dream yogurt that I found at my local grocery store, D&W)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk but regular milk should also work here)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Chocolatey Glaze:

  • peanut (or cashew) pieces to top the donuts with

To make the donuts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Add the peanut butter, yogurt, sugar, milk, and vanilla into a stand mixer. Start out at a slow speed (2 or 4) to mix everything together, then when it comes together beat the mixture on high for about a minute, or until it’s light in color and creamy. Add in the other ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt), and mix everything at a low speed until just combined.**

** You can do all this by hand, but a stand mixer makes the mixing process 100 times easier! 

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Grease your mini donut pan (I used cooking spray). Spoon the mixture into the donut molds. You’ll need about a VERY large and full spoonful for each donut.

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Bake the donuts for 6-7 minutes, or until they’re golden and fluffy.

To make the glaze: combine the chocolate chips and milk into a small bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds or until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir the mixture with a knife or spoon to smooth it out. You might need to add a teaspoon or so more of milk if the mixture is clumpy and thick. You want it to be like a glaze- sort of like a ganache.

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To assemble: dip the tops of the donuts into the chocolate filled bowl and twirl them around so the whole top of the donut is coated with chocolate. Sprinkle the top with crushed peanut or cashew pieces if desired for a pretty donut with a crunch.

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Check out the two other peanut butter yogurt recipes! Click the links below. 

Peanut Butter Brownie Dip from Gina of Kleinworth & Co.

Vegan Yogurt Peanut Butter Donuts from Emma of BakeThenEat

3 Delicious Peanut Butter Yogurt Treats

Have a lovely weekend! Eat lots of peanut butter!

xx Ellie

P.S.- Do you want to join in on the Peanut Butter Bash!? Then email Miranda and request to join the Peanut Butter Bash Facebook group! We post a dish, typically a dessert, with peanut butter and another chosen ingredient the first Thursday of each month. There is also a Facebook group, The Peanut Butter Recipe Box, if you want to join in the fun but don’t run your own blog.