Purple carrot soup with za'atar

Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. This carrot soup is a warm, hearty, and healthy lunch or light dinner. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan

Is purple my new favorite color? I don’t know. Maybe. I seem to be drawn to purple foods lately. Maybe they feel kind of witch-y and seasonal. And that’s primarily what I aim for in my cooking.

Anyway, I find purple carrots endlessly intriguing and therefore, have used them in this soup. Unfortunately, the end product doesn't stay purple, so if your kiddo might be put off by the initial color, rest easy. This soup is also delicious made with orange carrots.

Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan
Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. This carrot soup is a warm, hearty, and healthy lunch or light dinner. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan

And added bonus: carrots are a great base for introducing new flavors to your kiddos. Carrots are familiar, mildly sweet, and almost entirely inoffensive, so they’re not intimidating when you mix in some za’atar and tahini, two things that, on their own, might prove too much for a developing palate.

Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. This carrot soup is a warm, hearty, and healthy lunch or light dinner. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan

I like swirling it with yogurt and sprinkling on some za’atar, which is a spice that should earn a spot in your repertoire.

If za’atar intimidates you, take heart. I was also a bit hesitant at first, but it’s a simple mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, salt, and sumac, which is a common middle eastern spice that has a bright, citrusy flavor. I feel like it’s the cumin of the middle east.

This soup is also a good way to introduce some new spices and flavors while incorporating an old favorite. M even requested a bowl of this with his dinner the other night, so I, obviously, felt extremely smug.

Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. This carrot soup is so easy to make and a great way to introduce new flavors. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan

Purple carrot soup with za’atar

2 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or ghee
1 medium onion, minced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp coriander
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 ¼ lb carrots, peeled and diced into small pieces
4 cups low sodium stock (vegetable or chicken)
3 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Yogurt (dairy or non-dairy)
Za’atar

Heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, or until fragrant. Add the spices and ½ tsp of salt and cook for one more minute, until fragrant.

Add the carrots and cook for one or two minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and add the tahini, lemon juice, and the other ½ tsp of salt.

Yield: 6½ cups or about 52 oz


Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. This carrot soup is a warm, hearty, and healthy lunch or light dinner. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan
Purple carrot soup with za’atar | Me & The Moose. This carrot soup is an easy way to add interest to your kids’ lunchboxes while serving up some veggies and introducing new flavors. #meandthemoose #carrotsoup #purplecarrots #za’atar #glutenfree #vegan




Purple carrot and coconut applesauce

Toddlerhood is a time of highs and lows, for the toddler and for his parents. This week, for example, M, started saying "Go away, Mama;" screaming at the very top of his lungs when he wanted something; and spun in a circle so much that he barfed. But he also said, "I miss you, Mama;" spelled his name (he's a genius! or at least, a genius mimic); and was completely focused and determined while trying to use chopsticks, all of which made my heart grow about ten sizes.

In our bad moments, I'm desperately trying to remember that M's acting out is normal limit testing and that it'll pass, but it is SO HARD. Living with a toddler is like having an irrational, demanding, perfectionist, narcissist for a boss, but who's sometimes so cute and wonderful and effusively loving that you can forgive his disturbing lack of empathy.

All that to say, my kid is normal. And like all normal toddlers, really really loves applesauce. To bulk this one up, I added carrots because then I feel like he's getting more than just some fruit. I also tossed in some coconut milk to add a little fat for those days when applesauce comprises a meal. Also, though we're far from apple season, our farmer's market always has barrels of over-wintered apples that are cheap, local, pesticide-free, and perfect for applesauce.  

A few notes: I didn't bother to peel my apples because a lot of the fiber is in the skin, but mostly, I'm lazy. However, if your little likes things very smooth or is just starting out with purees, go ahead and peel them. I also roasted these because I like the flavor and a chunkier end product, but if you're looking for a smooth puree, do a boil/steam combo as described in this recipe

Purple carrot and coconut applesauce

2 lbs apples (about 3 very large apples)
8 oz purple carrots (about 2 large or 4 small carrots)
¼- ¾ cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and chop carrots and apples (don't bother peeling the apples; see note above). Place on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until carrots are fork tender.

Puree the apples, carrots, and coconut milk. Start with ¼ cup and add more coconut milk until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Store in the refrigerator, but heat for 15-20 seconds before serving to loosen up the coconut milk. Stir and test for hotspot

Yield: 26 oz or about 3-3 ½ cups.