Crazy-good carrot souffle

Bright orange: not the easiest color to photograph.

This recipe isn’t mine. Not mine at all. It is, however, really good. We’re talking slap-my-knee-and-call-me-Pappy!-type good.

This recipe comes courtesy of Beth, over at Expatriate’s Kitchen (and she is giving away a book on drinking, yo!). Beth is my co-author on our as-yet-unnamed book project (due out fall 2010). This recipe will be included in the book, and I offer it here as kind of a sneak preview, a window into the 272 vegetable-laden pages that will follow less than a year from now.

Sake’s alive, Beth has some kickin’ recipes up her sleeve.

This dish is so tasty. It is sweet and warm and completely comforting, and it features one of the few ingredients that can still be found locally, in this, the coldest of seasons: carrots!

What do you call an elephant with a carrot in each ear?

Anything you want; he can’t hear you!

Carrots rock the vegetable world. They offer copious amounts of vitamin A as beta-carotene, which is associated not only with great eye health, but also cardiovascular health. Beta-carotene also appears to contain anti-cancer properties.  Carrots are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins K and C as well as B vitamins, and are a great source of fiber.

A guy walks into a doctors office with one carrot in his ear and another up his nose. He says: ” Doc, I don’t know what’s wrong with me!”

The doctor looks at him  for a while, and finally says “I know what’s wrong with you!”

The patient says “Really? What?!!”

“You’re not eating right!”

This is one of my favorite carrot recipes of all time: carrot souffle, with a touch of orange flavor. I made it this week for a potluck gathering, and it got raves. My mom made it for Thanksgiving and it earned raves. At the end of my book-writing deadline, when my butt was plastered to a big rubber ball and my back hurt and my eyes were dilated from staring too much at the computer, and the sun was disappearing and the world was growing colder by the second, this is the one dish that I craved, the one dish I would get off my rump to prepare happily.

It’s officially a side dish, but one can also see it peering boldly into the “Dessert” end of things, waving with familiarity to the pumpkin pies and sweet potato pies and baked figgy puddings and the fruit souffles. In other words, it’s kind of dessert. But you get to call it part of dinner.

The wise man says: mother who cooks carrots and peas in the same pot is very unsanitary!

The fact that is so delightfully sweet is why I am surprised that my own daughters refuse to eat this carrot souffle. Merrie has it in her head that she just doesn’t care for cooked carrots in any form. And once my child convinces herself she doesn’t like something, that, apparently, is that. As for Charlotte, well, she just doesn’t eat. As I have mentioned before, Charlotte lives on love, Elmo, and Annie lyrics.

So I make it,  I offer it, they refuse it, and I eat it. All of it.

Until one day, when I left a fresh-baked dish of it on the stovetop and didn’t announce what it was. The top of it was baked golden brown, with just a slight crust to it. The kitchen, I thought, smelled glorious. Merrie wandered into the kitchen, then was silent for a while. Suddenly she burst into where I was working.

“Mom!” she exclaimed, with a giant spoon in her hand. “That stuff you made is SO GOOD.”

I lifted my eyes in surprise.”Really? You think so?”

“Yes! It’s DELICIOUS!!”

“Huh,” I said. (Now here comes what they call a strategic mistake). “That’s interesting, because that’s the carrot souffle I’ve made so many times and you’ve refused to eat every time.” (and that, right there, was my strategic mistake. I should have said nothing if I wanted her to eat it).

“Really?” she asked. It was her turn to be surprised.


“Huh,” she said, considering the situation carefully. “Well, um maybe I only liked it a little.”

From “DELICIOUS!” to “I only liked it a little” in a mere three seconds flat.

Whatever, kid. That just there’s more for me.

What did one snowman say to the other snowman?

“Hey, do you smell carrots?”

2 1/4 lbs. of chopped carrots (about 16 medium carrots, or 8-9 very large carrots)
2/3 cup sugar
4 tbs. flour
3 tbs. plain low fat yogurt
3 eggs
2 tbs. melted butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. mace (or nutmeg)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. orange extract

Steam carrots until soft. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place carrots in food processor. Pulse until pureed. Add the other ingredients, pulsing as you go. Run food processor until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Spray a souffle dish with cooking spray. Pour in carrot souffle batter. Bake for about 50 minutes, until inside is well-formed (an inserted knife should not come out gloppy and wet).

Try not to eat the whole dish while it is still steaming warm from the oven. After all, you might want to save some for dessert.

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10 Responses to “Crazy-good carrot souffle”

  1. 1 Sarah @ Mum In Bloom December 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Ok.. I gotta admit when I read carrot souffle I thought ew! I love carrots but as a souffle I couldn’t put together in my tiny brain. But after reading your post I’m laughing my butt off and thinking maybe it’s worth a try! I’ll include it in one of my holiday meals – will report back on crowd’s repsonse ;o)

  2. 2 Andrea December 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Mmm…gonna get me some carrots at the winter farmer’s mkt tonight and try this out asap!

  3. 3 Meredith December 17, 2009 at 4:17 am

    That sounds delicious! Whip it up in a food processor and bake? I must make this.

    Also, that last joke about the snowman? Brilliant. Love it. Can’t wait to try on the kids.

  4. 4 Vikki December 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I might like that a little bit too. Will you make it for me when we take our Von Trapp family vacation? AND a book about drinking? I have to go check that out. Not that I’m a lush or anything. Really.

  5. 5 Behan December 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    oh wow… this sounds amazing… we don’t have a food processor in our low-tech galley, but maybe I can make this work with the manual blender. I’ll try not to make any strategic errors. :-)

  6. 6 behan December 19, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Holy carrot souffle zeitgeist, batman! Posted today on Simply Recipes… yup, you guessed it.

  7. 7 Jo E. December 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I just found your blog and LOVE it! Especially the snowman joke. I live in the south (52 ft. above sea level in Louisiana). We love sweet food, sweet tea, and anything sweet (bon temps). Our local Picadilly Cafeteria serves this and now I have your recipe to try. Can’t wait…I might even share it.

  8. 8 Lisa January 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, this recipe sounds easy enough for even me to make it. Gonna try it for my book group next week, where I am usually the one bringing the cheese and crackers or the wine – in other words, the non-cooking one. Psyched!

  9. 9 queenie January 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I made this for Christmas dinner and it was a hit! Really good. I don’t have a food processor, but my hand-held puree stick worked just fine after an initial go with the potato masher. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. 10 Beth B January 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks, you are funny. We’ll get this whole book thing wrapped! It’s been a labor of love and you have been a fantastic co-author. Cheers.

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