When I saw our first bunch of carrots in our CSA share this week, I knew I needed to find a way to use the carrot tops. I mean, they're so pretty that they have to be edible, right? (Yes, I know oleander is pretty and poisonous, but it's not as pretty as carrot greens are!) While searching online, I found several recipes that I'll be trying over the next weeks. But I found the recipe for this soup (with slight variations) over and over. So I decided it would be my first foray into the culinary world of carrot tops. It starts with a trusty mirepoix and builds from there.
Olive oil (a couple tablespoons)
1 onion, chopped
Celery (1 or 2 stalks), chopped
2 carrots, chopped
Freshly pressed garlic (a few cloves)
Salt (not much)
Freshly ground black pepper
6 c. broth (I used beef broth that I made with Better Than Bouillon, but you could also use vegetable or chicken broth)
1/2 c. short-grain rice
1 bunch carrot tops, chopped
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a few tablespoons)
Heat the oil in a biggish pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes (about 5) until the onions are somewhat soft. Add a little salt and some pepper, then add the broth. Bring everything to a boil, then add the rice. Cook for 15 minutes or so until the rice is almost fully cooked (see comments for more info on rice choice). Add the carrot tops and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the rice is truly cooked. Garnish each serving with some Parmigiano-Reggiano
The finished product was quite good (read on). Ricewise, I used brown basmati (which is not short-grain), because that and sushi rice are all I keep on hand, and I thought basmati would be better in this recipe. In retrospect, I would highly recommend using short-grain rice or precooked long-grain rice, because long-grain rice takes so much longer to cook than short-grain (as in 45 minutes rather than 15) that the soup is significantly reduced--and consequently extraordinarily salty--by the time the long-grain rice is close to cooked. I ended up having to add 3 c. of water to the finished soup to desaltify it. But it was quite tasty!