Spiced Carrot and Pear Soup: A Collaboration

January 29, 2016 24 Comments

cutting-persimmon

Winter can get a little gloomy in our part of the world, which makes it especially challenging to come up with fresh and seasonal recipes, never mind dealing with a 3:30 pm hard stop when relying on natural light for photographs. When Alanna from One Tough Cookie suggested collaborating on a post, I knew that it would be the perfect way to get some winter inspiration flowing. Here’s how it all went down: we each chose 3 of our favourite winter ingredients and challenged the other to feature them in a fun, colourful, and delicious recipe. It was kind of like a mystery box challenge, but we shared our selections in advance and had the recipes ready to go when we met.

ingredients

I chose persimmons, beets, and lemons for Alanna. Beets are my all-time favourite winter veg. They’re so sweet and earthy, extremely versatile, and they have the magical power of turning things into the most amazing shade of fuchsia, if you’re not careful. Persimmons are a special treat in the winter, especially since they’re not readily available year-round where we live, though I recently discovered that there are hardy persimmon trees that will apparently produce fruit in our region…hi there future garden experiment! I wasn’t sure how persimmons would pair with beets, but I knew that Alanna would be up for the challenge and find a way to surprise me. Lemon felt like the perfect 3rd ingredient, just to round out all the sweet flavours.

peelingbeetpistchiosPersimmon, Beet, and Halloumi Salad

Working together on a blog post was so much fun! As much as I cherish my solo work-from-home days, it was really great hanging out with Alanna and getting a glimpse of her process, as I’ve long admired her beautiful photography and the the work that she does on her blog. I also loved being able to just focus on taking pictures as Alanna cooked, and cook without having to worry about getting all the shots. Sharing food styling tricks (I learned so much) and co-mastering the soup swirl was collaboration at its best! We had a good laugh over the seriousness of our swirling efforts. SO great to know that I’m not the only crazy one.

Spiced Carrot and Pear Soup

Alanna made a roasted beet and persimmon salad with halloumi and a lemon-sumac dressing, garnished with fresh herbs and pistachios. The salad was absolutely delicious and full of bright and contrasting flavours. I especially loved the dressing, which was almost secretly infused with a smashed clove of garlic. It was perfectly garlic-y, without the harsh hit of raw garlic that can sometimes overpower a salad.

That soup that you see, the one with the killer swirl (which, btw, looked much better before I clumsily stuck a spoon in it), was my challenge. Alanna picked carrots, pears, and pomegranate for my 3 ingredients, and I made a spiced carrot and pear soup, garnished with pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and a yogurt-tahini swirl.

Head on over to One Tough Cookie for Alanna’s take on my soup-making process and the recipe for the Persimmon, Beet, and Halloumi Winter Salad. The recipe for my soup is below.

What are your favourite winter ingredients?

Persimmon, Beet, and Halloumi SaladSpiced Carrot and Pear Soup

The recipe for the Persimmon, Beet, and Halloumi Salad is on One Tough Cookie.

Spiced Carrot and Pear Soup w/ Pistachios, Pomegranate Seeds, and a Yogurt-Tahini Swirl

Serving Size: 2-4

Ingredients

    Soup
  • 2 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1 medium cooking onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. of cumin seeds (sub. ground cumin)
  • 1 tsp. of coriander seeds (sub. ground coriander)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 4 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 scant tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • Garnishes
  • 1/4 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp. of tahini
  • tiny clove of garlic, minced (optional)
  • a few pinches of salt
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • pomegranate seeds
  • chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a medium-large pot over low-medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion until it's translucent and just starting to brown.
  3. If using whole spices (highly recommended!), grind them in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and add to the onions. Sauté for another minute or so, until the spices are fragrant and toasty.
  4. Add the wine and simmer for a minute or two to reduce slightly.
  5. Add the remaining soup ingredients, increase heat, and bring everything to a boil.
  6. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, until the carrots are soft.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the garnishes. Whisk together yogurt, tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon juice, and set the mixture aside.
  8. When the soup is ready, remove it from the heat and let the soup cool (I took mine out to the snowy back yard to speed up the process).
  9. Blend using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender.
  10. Return the blended soup to the pot and adjust the consistency with water, if necessary. Bring it back up to a simmer. Taste and adjust with salt, lemon juice, and more chili flakes, if necessary.
  11. Serve with a dollop (or swirl) of the yogurt-tahini mix and garnish with pomegranate seeds and pistachios.
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24 Comments

  1. Reply

    Alanna @ One Tough Cookie

    January 29, 2016

    Whee! First comment! I had such a great time working on this with you, and I’m still marvelling at how nicely our dishes went together when we finally got to eat them! I should have had you pack up some of this soup; I’m still dreaming about it!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      Crap, I don’t think I even offered to pack up the soup :( Sorry! I had so much fun working with you too and love seeing it all through your lens as well!

  2. Reply

    Julia (@Imagelicious)

    January 29, 2016

    Woo-hoo! Gorgeous photos, delicious food, amazing shades and colours and shadows! I cannot ever do shadows like that. This is why I admire yours and Alanna’s photography – so unique, colourful, crisp, and moody! I am glad you got to do this collaboration with Alanna and had do much fun :)

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      Aww, thanks Julia :) The shadows were a result of almost too sunny conditions. We went back and forth between diffusing the light or letting it be, and I think that shadow-y hand shots were without the curtain.

  3. Reply

    Brittany at I Love Vegan

    January 29, 2016

    Wow! What a neat collaboration! I love the mystery ingredients and how you were able to get together for the shoot. This soup looks absolutely gorgeous (the garnishes, wow!) And obviously the photography is top notch.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      Thanks so much, Brittany! It was so much fun to do the shoot together…definitely nice to get out of my own head and get to work with Alanna!

  4. Reply

    Taylor

    January 29, 2016

    Wow, what fabulous colours in these two recipes!! Love the garnishes you chose for the soup, looks absolutely breathtaking!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      Thanks so much, Taylor!

  5. Reply

    Brianne

    January 29, 2016

    These both sound like stellar combinations and a great way to boost creativity during the dreary winter. I especially love the idea of persimmons and beets together, and I really dig a well-seasoned blended soup. Your swirling skills are light years ahead of mine, for sure! Every time I’ve tried it, I just make a sloppy mess!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      Haha we made quite a few sloppy messes in the process. Alanna has a shot of me picking swirl out of the soup on her blog…we had to try a few times.

  6. Reply

    Lily @GastroSenses

    January 29, 2016

    Oh how I love this! The colors, the recipes, the moodiness of your photos, everything! Also I am a gardening fan myself and I would totally love to hear about your experience if you do end up planting persimmon tree in your garden!!!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      I found a place that sells the trees but I ordered a cherry tree from them a while ago and it ended up dying, so I’m hesitant on buying another tree from the same place. I’m keeping an eye out for other sources, especially if the tree is a little bit more mature. Will let you know if I find one!

  7. Reply

    Justine @ JustineCelina.com

    January 29, 2016

    Wow, ladies! What a beautiful and interesting collaboration. This recipe looks absolutely divine, and I’m going to hop over to Alanna’s site now for the other one. You are both very talented. :)

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 29, 2016

      Thanks so much, Justine!

  8. Reply

    ceecee

    January 29, 2016

    Such lovely photos. Such great flavors!

  9. Reply

    Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls

    January 29, 2016

    Wow, Sophia! What gorgeous photos, and such a lovely sounding soup! It was so nice meeting both you and Alanna back in October. Next time I’m back east, I’ll have to get you two to show me a few things about photography and styling because your photos are always so stunning. :)

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 31, 2016

      Thanks so much, Amanda! It was great meeting you too…let us know when you’re in town again and we should definitely hang out!

  10. Reply

    Isabelle @ Crumb

    January 29, 2016

    I love love love love LOVE this collaboration!
    You guys should do this more often, especially if it continues to generate such amazing photos and delicious-looking recipes. I could totally go for a bowl of that gorgeous sunny soup right now. Now, off to Alanna’s blog I go for that amazing salad…

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 31, 2016

      Thanks, Isabelle! It’s a lot easier to take pictures when you don’t have to cook…totally hoping we can do this again at some point!

  11. Reply

    Dana

    January 29, 2016

    Gah! Your photos are incredible! This soup also sounds and looks amazing.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 31, 2016

      Thanks so much, Dana!

  12. Reply

    janet @ the taste space

    January 30, 2016

    What an awesome experience. Connecting with other bloggers is always one of my favourite parts of blogging and you both ended up with such awesome tips, photos and recipes. I tried my first soup swirl at Christmas and it is definitely harder than one would think. Did you end up using Melissa’s trick with a small bowl underneath?

    • Reply

      Sofia

      January 31, 2016

      We were so surprised at how hard it was to make that swirl. I think the bowl trick is more for soups that have stuff in them, so that you can prop the ingredients up a little bit…not so much for blended soups. And connecting with other bloggers is the best part! So thankful for FBC and all the work that they do to get us all talking to each other :) Thanks, Janet! It was also great meeting you back in December btw and hoping that we can all get together again soon.

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