The Carrot Harvest: Freezing for Winter and Ginger Carrot Soup

ginger carrot soup

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Carrots are one of the big crops on the farm. Hubby loves them, Cappuccino the bunny munches the greens – he’s not really fond of the carrot itself. Most years I have plenty to freeze and a surplus to make a lovely soup for the hubby to enjoy on nights I don’t feel well. It’s a recipe for carrot soup I’ve been working on and I think I’ve finally perfected it. Last year was the exception as there weren’t that many so I didn’t freeze any – they all went into soup.

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How to Freeze Carrots and Making Carrot Ginger Soup

Now when I freeze fruits and produce I do so in reuseable containers instead of zip bags. It’s better for the environment and it has worked very well. The first thing I do when they come in is trim off the tops; I put some aside in the refigerator for the bunny to enjoy, I freeze some to add to soups and stews througout the winter and those that I don’t think I will use go into the mulch. Then I wash and scrub the carrots very well since I do not peel them before cooking or freezing. Next up, sorting –  I separate them into piles; eating, too big and WTH. WTH are the carrots that are all twisty and bizarre, the mutant carrots. The mutants and the too big carrots I save for soup making or pickling. Lately the hubby has been eating fewer pickled foods so everything not set for cooking went into the soup pot.

carrots, freezing carrots

How to Freeze Carrots:

  • Trim carrots of greens and any roots
  • Scrub and wash the carrots
  • Cut into coins or sticks
  • Fill the sink or a very large bowl with ice water

blanching carrots, freezing carrots

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  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • Drop the carrots in the boiling water
  • Remove the carrots to the ice water

carrots packaged for freezing, freezing carrots

  • When they have cooled, remove from the ice water, drain and place in containers and freeze

Making the Soup:

The rest of the carrots went into the soup. The recipe is something I came up with a couple of years ago when we had a massive carrot harvest and the hubby really fell in love with it so I’ve been making it every year with excess carrots since. It is really a soup base because when I open a jar I add milk to it so it becomes a cream of carrot soup. It makes for an easy meal in the winter for those nights that I am not feeling well. That’s not to say you couldn’t eat it without the addition, I just think it might be a little thick – you would have to add some water.

The amount of soup I get is totally determined by how many carrots I have to work with – this year it happened to be 12 pounds. Other years I have had less. This year’s harvest gave me 9 quarts of soup so I have presented the recipe for what I had this year. I am also still developing this recipe and it is still evolving from the first year I made it. It is certainly a recipe that can be altered to suit what you have on hand.

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Ginger Carrot Soup for Canning

Ginger Carrot Soup for Canning

9 quarts

12 pounds carrots, cleaned and trimmed
3 onions, chopped
1/2 cup ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
3 bottles beer or hard cider or combination of both
1 TBS olive oil
2 cinnamon sticks
1 TBS allspice
1 TBS whole cloves
1 TBS star anise
1 TBS coriander

saute onions, ginger carrot soup

Heat olive oil in a very large (mine is 22 quarts) heavy bottomed stock pot.
Add the onions and saute until they are soft and just starting to turn brown.
Cut the carrots into chunks and add them to the pot. Just cover with water.

spice bag for carrot soup
Add the spices to a bit of cheesecloth, tie and add to the pot.
Add the chopped ginger.

simmer carrot chunks, carrot soup
Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer until the carrots are basically mush. If you need to add water to keep them just covered do so. If you need to let the pot sit over night it is OK.

use immersion blender to make smooth soup, carrot soup
When the carrots are very, very soft remove the spice bag then use an immersion blender to reduce the mixture to a smooth soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender you will need to move it bit by bit to a blender and return it to the pot. I highly recommend an immersion blender.

add hard cider/beer, carrot soup
Add the beers/hard cider and bring the soup to a simmer.

finished ginger carrot soup
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and add tabasco to preferred heat. Be aware the soup will cook down a little further.
While the soup is simmering prepare jars and pressure canner.

add soup to jars, ginger carrot soup, canning
Add the hot soup to clean jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.

jarred soup in canner, ginger carrot soup
Follow the instructions for your canner. I am at 3000 feet and I can this soup at 15lbs for 45 minutes.

canned ginger carrot soup
To serve: I open a jar and add about a pint of milk. I heat it through and then put a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream in the center, sprinkle some toasted pumpkin seeds and some cinnamon.

ginger carrot soup with yogurt and pumpkin seeds

How Was the Carrot Ginger Soup?

The hubby really enjoys this soup. He tends to like it a bit on the spicy side – between the ginger and the tabasco he is a happy man. The yogurt (or you can use sour cream) adds a cooling touch of creaminess and the pumpkin seeds add an earthy crunch. He ate two bowls on the night I canned the soup. I do love when enjoys what I cook!

I love having soup for dinner no matter the season – Tomato Soup with Garlic Shrimp is amazing and a great way to use up leftovers. The hubby loves Cream of Mushroom soup and that gets made with the trimmings when I dehydrate mushrooms to save them! Never let anything go to waste!


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