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.