Monday, November 04, 2013

Recipe: White House Spiced Carrot Soup With Apples And Leeks

FLOTUS & helpers pluck carrots
From the First Lady's Fall Kitchen Garden Harvest...
Washington, DC - First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a picnic for her junior helpers during the Fall Harvest of her Kitchen Garden.  Led by Executive Chef Cris Comerford, the kids and Mrs. Obama made Grilled Flatbread Turkey Sandwiches filled with vegetbales, accompanied by Spiced Carrot Soup with Apples and Leeks. Chef Comerford's soup recipe is below.  

 The soup has the flavors of autumn:  It's spiced with bay leaf and juniper berries, both grown in the Kitchen Garden, and cinnamon sticks.  Other ingredients, including onions, celery, and leeks, are also grown in the 1,500 square-foot plot.  

Picnic: FLOTUS samples the soup
A touch of honey adds sweetness to the recipe.  During Mrs. Obama's picnic, the honey used in the soup was from the beehive that sits beside the garden. Installed at Mrs. Obama' behest in 2009, the hive is the first to ever be on the White House grounds.

The recipe makes six servings.  A medium pot, a blender, and a chinoise (a fine-meshed strainer) are required.  Check the site sidebar for more White House recipes.

Picnic: Chef Comerford serves the soup
White House Spiced Carrot Soup 
With Apples And Leeks

*2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

*1 Onion, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

*2 Celery stalks, sliced into 1/2 inch-segments

*1 Leek, white part only, washed, sliced into 2/3-inch segments

*1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and sliced

*1 Pound Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch segments

*1 Bay Leaf

*2 Cinnamon Sticks

*4 Juniper Berries

*1 1/2 Quarts Vegetable Stock (canned)

*2 Tablespoons Honey

*Sea salt

1.  In a medium pot, sweat the onion, celery and leeks until fragrant.  Add the apples, carrots, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and juniper berries.  Let sweat for a few more minutes until the carrots soften. 

2.  Add the vegetable stock and honey and let simmer for about half an hour more.  Then

remove juniper berries and bay leaf, and any remainders of the cinnamon sticks.

3.  Blend in a mixer, then strain through a fine chinoise.  Add salt to taste.  Serve immediately. 

*Can be reheated on stove over medium heat.

*Makes six servings

Picnic: Assistant Chefs prep the soup for service
Above: During the picnic, the White House chefs worked beside the garden in an outdooor kitchen that included a charcoal grill.  They sauteed newly-plucked carrots over the grill, and added it to the soup before serving.  

Muppets Elmo and Rosita were the special guests of honor at the harvest.  Ahead of the vegetable plucking, Mrs. Obama announced that Sesame Workshop has partnered with the Let's Move! campaign to promote fresh fruits and vegetables to kids.

*Photos by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama