Have I mentioned before that I’m a yogi? A full time job and a full load of classes have kept me off my matt for a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to get back to it. What I’ve missed the most isn’t physical, though my limbs do feel heavier somehow. What I miss the most is taking that hour every day to focus my intentions – on my yoga practice, on daily life, and even on where I’m going to take three beans on a string. Setting an intention at the beginning of yoga class means calling to the front of the mind the thing that my soul needs the most. To feel gratitude. To be kind to myself and others. To forgive. To see beauty in small things.
In the context of this blog, setting my intentions means having a vision and realizing it. Last summer I took Shay Bocks’s “Garnish” course, an online program for bloggers who want to have more control over their branding and web graphics. Shay designed the “Foodie” theme, the design framework for three beans on a string and thousands of other food blogs.
During the first week of the course, focused on branding, I realized that three beans on a string can do a much better job communicating a clear vision. When people come to this blog, I want them to feel inspired to eat food that is both more nutritious and better for the environment by beautiful, colorful photographs, a likable, friendly voice, well written recipes, and a clean, easy-to navigate design. To achieve this, in the coming weeks I’ll be making some changes to the blog’s design, shifting the recipe index to search by ingredient or season, sketching out photo compositions in advance, and giving some serious thought to which recipes get posted and why.
I made one immediate change: providing nutrition information for each and every recipe. Nutrition info is a must for health-conscious readers, especially those who are counting calories or tracking protein and carbohydrate intake for fitness purposes. I’m using FoodBloggerPro’s nutrition label generator, which I absolutely love. It’s free to FoodBloggerPro members, with comes with a price tag of $1 for the first month and $25 a month after that. I’m definitely getting my money’s worth for reasons unrelated to the nutrition label generator, but I’ll write about that in a separate post.
About today’s recipe: This soup made use of some of the ugliest carrots I have ever seen. Fat and misshapen like severed tree roots, they were certainly not good candidates for serving atop a delicate salad or even shredded into a carrot cake. Since making them tender would require quite a bit of cooking, soup was the perfection solution. Not quite ready for the gingery, savory carrot soup I like to make in autumn — there’s time enough for that when the weather turns cooler — I decided to add handfuls of fresh chopped dill instead.
The result was a summery soup that can served warm or cold. If served cold, allow the soup to cool to room temperature in the original pot an then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, adding the dill just before serving.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 medium onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 cups carrots, cut into rounds, ¼ inch thick
- 8 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup fresh dill
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the chopped celery and onions and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the carrots to the vegetable mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low and cook until carrots are tender. about 25 minutes.
- Puree with an immersion blender or traditional blender.
- Pour into bowls and garnish with dill.