Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spa Dreaming and Carrot Soup

We met friends for dinner at West Town Tavern on Saturday. It's slightly west and north of the Loop in a quiet neighborhood. We've been many times and always have a fantastic meal. It must have been a combination of good food and good conversation but, before I knew what was happening, I had consumed a salad (mixed heirloom tomatoes), an entree (goat cheese tart with a mix of sauteed summer vegetables) and dessert (lemon chess pie). In addition, I had tasted all the salads, entrees and desserts at our table. So did the rest of the diners, might I mention!

To be honest, I woke up this morning feeling really glutinously guilty. So, I decided to take myself to the Golden Door in Escondido, CA for a week of healthy eating, exercise and spa treatments. I checked online and found that I could do this for a mere $7495 for the week (plus air fare). I also checked to see how much the tickets for the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park were going for. One cannot go to Escondido without a visit to the park. Well, the tickets are going for $33.50 these days. Honestly, that put me over the top for my planned excursion. I decided to just stay home and make a few of the Golden Door's recipes in my own kitchen.

Chilled Carrot Soup
The Golden Door Spa and tweaked by Bonnie

1 tsp canola oil
1 small onion cut into a rough chop
2 tsp ground cumin
5 large carrots, roughly chopped
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
(I used a combination)
1 tsp salt
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp grated orange zest to garnish

Heat the canola oil in a medium-sized pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion; saute, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent.

Stir in the cumin and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots, stock or broth and salt; simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots are very tender. Remove from heat and cool.

Transfer, in batches, to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Blend in the orange and lime juices. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.

Serve cold in chilled soup bowls.

Enough for four to enjoy!

And, for our guilt-free dessert, we ate peaches and plums from our "still life" bowl of fruit from the Saturday Farmers' Market.


  1. Holy Cow!! You could go to Europe for what a week at the spa costs. There's no question about which choice I would make.

    Your chilled carrot soup looks so healthy and delicious. Fresh fruit is the perfect dessert. No need to go to the spa.

  2. Gosh, that's really a hefty price! I wonder if you could go to Priceline or some of these other travel websites and get a cut rate? My DIL knows all about these things and getting amazing travel deals. She never goes to any fancy place for full price, sometimes even about half price. The soup really looks yummy! Good for you for enjoying life and eating all it has to offer. I'm of the "eat dessert first" theory of life"!

  3. My day has begun with a smile. Indulgence is expensive, no doubt about it. Your soup looks and sounds wonderful. I have all the ingredients at hand, so I think I'll give it a try. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. Where did you find those wonderful soup bowls? They're perfect!

  5. You'd be glad for the previous night's indulgence after paying for that wouldn't be able to afford food! I, too, love the soup bowls, and that fresh bowl of fruit looks yummy....

  6. I think I'll join you for a stayspa at home! Yikes, that's expensive. You could make lots of chilled carrot soup and have lots of organic fruits and veggies for the cost of a stay there. The soup sounds great!

  7. Fancy, the soup bowls are from CB2. I thought of you as I was picking them out!!

  8. Unfortunately for most of us, we do have to have our priorities in order. The spa would be nice, but sometimes, cooking in one's own kitchen and producing something like this beautiful soup, far outways the alternative. Right choice!!

  9. oooh -yum - especially that bowl of fruit!

  10. Carrot soup is one of my all time favorites. Your recipe and photo look fantastic. I could go for a bowl or two.

  11. It would be nice to afford to go to a spa for a week of healthy eating and pampering, wouldn't it? I guess I need to pamper myself with some healthy food, however! Thanks for the recipe! Carla

  12. Okay, the spa price is ridiculous but doesn't it sound relaxing and healthy?

  13. Your post put a smile on my face. Looks like the extraordinary zoo ticket prices that you made you think twice ;-)

    The carrot soup looks lovely. Does it get any healthier than that? I think not!

  14. I believe you made the right choice. The Wild Animal Park, although awesome, is NO place to visit in the middle of the summer. Temperatures there are always well over 100 degrees!

    The soup looks delicious!

  15. Can I come to your home spa? Your soup looks fantastic and I am sure your house is more fun than that expensive spa.

  16. really brought back memories for me. My thesis to graduate from Interior Architecture was designing a whole spa concept and part of my research covered the Golden Door...ahh, was nice to dream about it then too.

    Love the soup...especially since I find the blend of orange and carrot sublime.

    Flavourful wishes,

  17. Oh the spa would have been wonderful, but the food is a real treat! I love the chilled corrot soup recipe. Yummy!
    Now if only you could get room service and a good massage at your house!

  18. First time to your blog - ahhh a spa sounds nice right about now but your carrot soup is beautiful and a good compromise! I love soups like this!

  19. Oh, Bonnie.. I would eat at your place long before I'd eat at a spa! Your soup looks delicious and the bowl of fruit yummy.
    I'm curious about the goat cheese. How was that dish prepared?
    The reunion went very well and we had about 25 more people than thought we would, but we were prepared.
    Take care. Have a great day!
    Ladybug Creek

  20. That spa must be for the rich and famous... Guess that keeps me from participating... ha ha ....

    Glad you enjoyed your delicious meal ---and then a nice healthy follow-up the next day... My problem is that I enjoy too many delicious meals--and forget about the healthy follow-ups... ha ha

    Cute post, Bonnie.

  21. Hi Bonnie, here is the link to the WC Library foundation:

    You should have seen the out dated library that was in it's place before! Our central library is in the near by town on Pleasant Hill and it too is very out dated, but they did do some up grades to it.

    I have lived in WC for close to 22 years, and I think I only went to the little library a handful of times, because it had nothing.
    I was so excited to see the momentum finally gained to build this town a new library. While they were fundraising for the library, they were met with people that didn't want to "pay" for it!! This made me so angry, as this town is quite affluent, and surly could come up with the funding!! I was so worried, as I still am, that this town was becoming only a destination shopping town. Thankfully, it was built, and boy is it a beauty. I plan to go back sometime this week to look at it again, without all the hoards. My daughter and her boyfriend are going over today to snoop around. They went camping and missed the opening :)
    I really hope you have luck with your project, but expect those who will oppose and only look at the dollar sign.

  22. love your healthy soup...looks delicious...

  23. I tried to reach in for a peach and almost made it. the photo looks good enough to eat.

  24. You are so funny, Bonnie! I laughed right out loud at your reasoning. Yowee. That's a big price, but Golden Door doesn't come cheap. Even if you can find a deal.

    Smart move to have your own little spa at home! I adore carrot soup, too!

  25. husband would NOT be fan of that..

  26. Smart girl!
    I would go for that chilled carrot soup and I really think I will try it this week; thanks for inspring me.

  27. some days you need to be's a good thing. Just not everyday! Your chilled soup sounds pretty darn good! and that plate of fresh I do love peaches,nectarines and plums....oh my!

  28. Wow sounds really good, I haven't come across carrot soup that i didn't like. As for the trip I couldn't do it either

  29. Thank you for coming to visit me! I hope you enjoyed your visit!


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