Monday, January 23, 2012

Cook a Rainbow with Your Kids

Purple carrots, had only I known you six years ago. . .

Unlike many other purple vegetables, like purple Brussels sprouts and sadly even purple asparagus, purple carrots, the ones colored through to their core retain their vivid hue after cooking. Not only do they keep their color, but purple carrots lend it to their partner ingredients in a dish.

You won’t find these carrots at your ordinary grocery store. No, for these, you’ll have to make a stop at Green City Market. Look for Vicky Westerhoff of Genesis Growers, she’ll hook you up.

Purple carrots will help your kids to eat a rainbow – a recommendation that many a dietician and doctor would make for a healthy diet. Thor and I were given a terrific tool to keep track of his rainbow consumption from my friend, Kia Robertson: a Today I ate a Rainbow Kit. He tracks what colors he’s eating on the magnetized fridge chart, I plan for our week’s worth of rainbow foods with the shopping list, and we both enjoy her delightful book, The Rainbow Bunch.

I’m sharing this wonderful tool with one lucky reader. To enter our Today I Ate a Rainbow giveaway, all you have to do is become a Facebook friend of Purple Asparagus. If you are already one of our friends, simply recommend our page to your friends. My Little Locavores kid will pull a number out of a hat this Friday.

Happy friending!

Purple Bean Soup
Serves 4
6 cups chicken stock
1 ham hock
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 purple carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
3 cups cooked black beans
1 bay leaf

Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and add the ham hock. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the ham hock and reserve for another purpose.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until the vegetables are softened. Sprinkle the cumin over the vegetables and cook for another minute.

Add the black beans and pour in 4 cups of the ham stock. The remainder can be frozen for another purpose. Drop in the bay leaf, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and three grinds of freshly ground pepper and bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes.

Puree in a blender (be sure to cover the top with a clean dish towel) or with a stick blender. Ladle into shallow bowls and dollop with sour cream and a spritz of lime juice.

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