CARROT SOUP // elspeth

I hope my sister and I were as good to my mom as my girls are to me. On Friday Nora and I got a terrible virus. We spent the day throwing up and in and out of bed, trying to sleep and trying to breathe and trying generally not to bring any more misery to each other. Alex went to work and Sally spent the day with a friend, and by the time they both got home, we were done. Alex took Nora and I crawled into bed with wet hair and clean pajamas. I was just about to pull up the covers when Sally came in. 

"I love you Mama," she said quietly. "I'm worried about you, and I hope you feel better tomorrow." She took my hand, and just sat on the side of the bed for a few minutes, saying nothing. Then she gave it a squeeze, and kissed me good night.

It is one of the most unexpected parts of parenting for me, these occasional role reversals. It gives me confidence that maybe we're doing an ok job, that maybe these girls of ours will grow up to be the caring, kind, responsible adults we hope for and try to create every day. 

It is also a good reminder to be kind and patient to each other. To take up the little tasks, and to let the little grievances slide. 

The soup you see up there is carrot, incredibly beautiful and incredibly simple. Alex made it last night while I was upstairs with the girls, trying to bring them a little relief with a hot bath and tippy plastic boats. We usually do things the other way around, me in the kitchen and him upstairs, but it was nice to make a switch. It made me appreciate the meal in a way I can't when I cook it: to feel simply grateful, without the work. 

Quickly, before I go, I wanted to share two nice pieces on love: We Need Never Economize Love, from mother and simplicity advocate Kyrie Meads. And an article on love, fear, and the environmental movement from the Globe Magazine that I read last night in bed, and that had me thinking long after I turned out the light. 


My mom sent me this recipe, from Heidi Swanson's blog 101cookbooks.com. Alex tweaked it in a few very tiny ways, and it's simple, lovely, and an absolutely stunning color. It's quite thick as written, and nice with a piece of toast and some of the accompaniments below sprinkled on top.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
1 and 1/2 cups water, or to cover
1 lemon or lime
optional: chopped cilantro, toasted walnuts, olive oil

In a large pot over medium-high heat melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, a few minutes. Add the curry paste and the carrots and cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring often. This will help develop the flavor. Add the coconut milk, salt, and water and simmer until the carrots are tender, another 10-15 minutes. Puree with a stick blender until velvety. Taste and add more water and salt as needed. Serve topped with chopped cilantro, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. Sourdough toast makes a nice accompaniment.

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All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.