Editor's note: Sherri Brooks Vinton writes one of our favorite series for this blog - Taste It, Don't Waste It. We are so excited to share this excerpt and recipe from her new book, "Eat it Up!", available at bookstores and online now!
We also worked with Sherri on the infographic at the right, which is a fun primer on six frequently wasted foods, and all the ways you can eat them up!
There are so many ways to reduce food waste, from understanding the shelf life of food to putting your leftovers to tasty use. One of my favorite ways to reduce food waste and get more out of the food you buy is to enjoy every last bite of it. Think of it as nose-to-tail eating but for produce as well. My new book, "Eat it Up!," is loaded with tips, tricks and recipes for turning the fronds and stems and things that you would normally pitch into delicious dishes. Here's an excerpt from the book and a recipe to, uh, give you taste.
I am convinced that eaters throw out a good portion of the food they buy because they don't even know it is edible. I was at the farmers' market a while back and handed the farmer several fennel to ring up for me. He proceeded to twist off the stalks and fronds and hand me back just the bulbs. When I questioned him about taking half of my food for himself he laughed and said he just assumed that I wanted them trimmed; everyone did. And miss half the fun? No, thanks. Same with beets and their greens, carrots and their tops, and on and on. That's the fun of good food, eating it up, and you'll find lots of tips for this waste-saving measure in the book.
Whole Carrot Soup
This soup uses both the roots and the tops of the carrots. The carrot tops bring a beautiful swirl of color to your bowl--gorgeous autumnal tones for the fall table. Their bitter flavor really nudges up wonderfully next to the dish's sweetness. You can make both components ahead for easy entertaining.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound carrots, fronds removed from roots and set aside, roots peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, diced
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled (don't forget to use up the peels)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (it's easy to make your own), or water
Puree 1⁄2 cup of the carrot fronds and the lemon juice, 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender. Set aside.
Sauté the onion in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot roots, potatoes, and stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until extremely tender. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, being careful not to splash yourself with the hot liquid. Season to taste.
Divide the soup among four bowls and drizzle a swirl of the frond mixture on top. Serve immediately.
The soup and frond drizzle keep, cooled, covered, and refrigerated, for 2 to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
-From "Eat it Up!," by Sherri Brooks Vinton, Da Capo 2016.