Making the Most of Inexpensive Spring Produce

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Savvy Spender knows how to pinch a penny and about being on a budget. She has learned great ways to save money on everyday expenses.

Making the Most of Inexpensive Spring Produce

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Making the Most of Inexpensive Spring ProduceIn keeping with my last post about the veritable rainbow of colors now available on the produce stands for spring, I want to provide another recipe for an easy and tasty soup that will let you take advantage of the fresh flavors and the inexpensive produce in peak season right now.

While there are so many great vegetables at this time of year, one I love to cook with (or serve raw) is the baby carrot. Baby carrots are not just smaller version of the large 'horse' carrots we see all through the year. They are specifically bred to be picked and eaten while the carrot is still immature, resulting in a sweeter and more tender carrot; eating them is a whole different experience. And during their peak season, they should be inexpensive at green markets, as they begin to wilt very quickly after being pulled from the ground.

Another great thing about baby carrots is that due to their size they cook extremely quickly.

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I like to simply peel and then roast them for a quick and healthy weeknight side. For a more elegant, dinner party worthy side dish, I sauté them quickly in butter and caramelize them with brown sugar and a touch of honey.

Tip: Make sure to get baby carrots (preferably with the greens still on them) and not 'baby-cut' carrots, which are just large carrots cut to look smaller.

Baby Carrot and Coriander Soup, serves 3-4 as an entree

Recipe from Tiny Test Kitchen

2 tsp whole coriander seeds

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 ½ pounds baby carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 2 bunches)

1 garlic clove, crushed and roughly chopped

4 cups chicken stock, plus extra for thinning the soup

2 tbsp mascarpone or créme fraîche

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add coriander seeds, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent seeds from burning, cook for 1-2 minutes, until seeds are fragrant and toasted.

2. Use a pestle and mortar to grind the spices thoroughly. (Be warned the seeds fly everywhere! 

3. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, garlic, and 3/4 of the ground coriander seeds, stir until coated in butter. Turn heat to low and cover; allow carrots to sweat for 10 minutes, until slightly softened.

4. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

5. Blend soup in batches using an upright blender, and making sure to secure the lid firmly with a kitchen towel.  Return blended soup to a saucepan. Stir in mascarpone or créme fraîche and season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve soup in warmed bowls. Garnish with extra mascarpone or créme fraîche, some chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle of crushed coriander seeds. Serve soup with crusty white bread and butter.

Related posts:

Save Time and Money At The Grocery Store

Rather Than Eating Out, Try Eating In

Saving with Seasonal Produce

Vienna NowellVienna Nowell

Vienna currently resides in New York City, but is originally from London. She is a contributing writer under the A Straight Talk on Debt and Savvy Spender blogs. She and her husband are recently married and they are contemplating taking the nexgt big step and buying their first home.  They are still working their way through the process of buying an apartment, and Vienna and her husband are learning as they go. Vienna also writes a food blog Tiny Test Kitchen, is a freelance writer, chef and food stylist. Read more posts by Vienna here. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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  • Many people are hesitant about buying fresh herbs, as they often use them for just one dish and have over half a bunch remaining that will sit there until they have to be tossed out. I make sure that I plan ahead and only buy a bunch of herbs if I know

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