Creamy Baby Carrot Soup + Why Farmers' Market

by - March 19, 2015

I am thoroughly enjoying the whole 'shop at farmers' market' experience. I started hearing a lot about them in early 2014. I have to admit that I was apprehensive about the prices considering how expensive organic stores in Dubai are (not that it's their fault). Shopping on a Friday morning was also something I wasn't sure I could do - I usually go for my long runs/walks on Friday mornings and then I have to get back, cook breakfast and lunch before getting everyone ready for Juma prayers. That is a long list of things to finish by noon. 

But then last year, sometime in November, J and I tried out Whole30 (I will have to write about our experience in another blog post as this would get really lengthy otherwise). Whole 30 requires us to eat loads of veggies with animal protein. I have always been a fan of eating vegetables (more than fruit), but then Whole30 took our vegetable shopping to another level. So when Farmer's market started this season, I knew I will have to give them a chance. It took a bit of convincing to get J to agree - he was sure it would be pricey. To put my mind to ease (and not to make a fool out of myself at the market), I wrote to Sally asking about the prices. She very kindly replied and assured me that it isn't costly. 

So off I went on a Friday morning in January. I was surprised at how fresh and affordable all the vegetables were. Kale for 5 dirhams! That's like a dream in Dubai! Since then, I have been a regular shopper. 

All this for AED 150!
Nine reasons you should give Farmers' Market a try: 
1. It's fresh, look at the above photo!  
2. Very affordable, you can even bargain to get some discount. 
3. Produce is much much more tastier than the supermarket versions. 
4. You get root vegetables like beetroot, carrots and radishes along with their greens, which means you can use both in your recipes. It's like buy one get one free! 
5. You get to be more creative in the kitchen - you cook dishes according to what is available at the market and that really makes you step out of the box with your recipes. 
6. You start your Friday mornings right - up early in the fresh air, get to meet your friends for a quick chat, come back and cook delicious breakfast and/or lunch. 
7. Your children get to see and learn about new vegetables.
8. Free demo and cooking classes by chefs.
9. The best bit I like about shopping at farmers' market? I only have to worry about the dirt on the vegetables and nothing else. No soaking veggies in salt or turmeric or vinegar or soap water. Simply wash and straight to your mouth. 

Now off to the recipe. All veggies you see in in photos here are from the market. Along with the soup, I also made beetroot thoran with coconut and sauteed the beetroot greens in some olive oil with a clove of garlic. Scrumptious! 

1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 medium stalks of celery, chopped
A handful of baby carrots
1 cube stock melted in about 2 cups of boiling water (MSG free, low sodium stock cubes are available at Carrefour)
1 tsp curry powder
A pinch of ground turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut milk
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Pine nuts, chilli flakes, coriander leaves for garnish

Heat ghee in a sauce pan.
Add chopped onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes. 
Sprinkle in curry powder with turmeric and continue stirring. 
You can now add celery and carrots. Stir until they are tender.  
Pour in stock and bring to a boil. 
Check the seasoning and add more salt if required. 
Bring the heat back down to simmer and cook until the carrots are tender and mushy. 
Take off the heat and blend using an immersion blender (a regular blender will work as well).
Stir in the coconut milk (reduce the quantity if you are using coconut cream). 
Bring the soup back to heat and simmer for couple of minutes - this step is optional. 
Garnish with toasted pine nuts, coriander leaves, chilli flakes and ground pepper. 

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  1. Thanks for the shout out - I agree with everything you've posted here. All my motivations for shopping direct from the farmers. Beautiful pics and recipe too. See you tomorrow!

  2. Such a shame I couldn't be at Farmer's Market though I promised myself each week that I will. My excuses will also sound same like yours and also the distance is too much if I want to travel alone. Enough ranting, this is a lovely post! And that pic from market loot is incredible!

    1. Try coming with your family tomorrow, you will love it! Thank you for the compliments. <3

  3. Yummy! and beautiful food photography clicks, thanks for sharing her blog with us :)

  4. I love shopping directly from farmers for the same reasons as you (and Sally and probably many other people who care about the origin and quality and freshness of what they and their families eat). I was used to Farmers Market in Italy and I am so glad to have one, and like this, also in Dubai!
    Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.
    And your soup looks so delicious...

  5. Love shopping at the farmers markets all over...I woul often go to the one in Dubai...we are now in Bombay and quite happy to see similar concepts here as well..Great soup recipe too Neelu:)

  6. Soup looks very comforting!!!How i wish to visit the Market, produce looks amazing!!!


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