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Carrot soup with oyster mushrooms and candied pecans (vegan)

August 3, 2012

SF Midwife Food Blog: Carrot Soup

Here’s a wonderful post from my amazing and inspiring client, Holly Pepper:

Being a type 1 diabetic, no one would expect me to be interested in a home birth.  After seeing my sister give birth in a birthing center in Maryland, I was convinced I wanted to attempt a similar birth, if possible and safe for all.  The more I became informed about birth, the more I came to realize the hospital just might not be the best place for me to deliver my first baby.  As long as my blood sugars are in absolute control, I can have a normal pregnancy, natural delivery, and healthy baby.

   Let me explain a bit.  Type 1 diabetes (formerly referred to as juvenile diabetes) is an auto immune disease that attacked my pancreas at a young age.  Unlike type 2 diabetes (95% of diabetics), it is unrelated to diet, exercise, and weight.  The leading research correlates Type 1 diabetes to multiple genetic factors, early introduction of cow’s milk, lack of/minimal breastfeeding, and a couple specific vaccines.  I was 8 when I was diagnosed and I have always lead an active lifestyle and I think my diabetes has given me extra incentive to stay healthy; in some weird way and certain situations, I sometimes feel fortunate to have this condition.  Whereas my blood sugar control is imperative in a quality life, it’s crucial in pregnancy.
    In my adult life, I’ve gotten very involved in racing and pushing my body and all the time realizing the longer the race, the more mental each race is.  I’ve completed several half marathons, marathons, Ironman triathlons, an ultramarathon, and many adventure races.  I never set out to do all this; each year I made new goals to challenge myself.  My family thinks I’m crazy and maybe I am.  During pregnancy, I’ve slowed down a bit, literally and figuratively, though I have continued to race.  Challenging myself in different ways and definitely being challenged by my body.  Maria has been a support during this time and she told me to listen to my body and I’ve always been true to that comment.
   This is a food blog though, right???  After reading the China Study, my husband and I challenged the idea of a non-processed whole foods plant based diet for 40 days at the beginning of this year.  Basically, it meant no animal products, no additives, lots of home cooking and creativity, and more greens and beans than you thought you could muster.  I was healthy eater compared to most before but this was quite another level.  The 40 days of strict eating was hard, but afterwards there were many features of the eating plan my husband and I decided to keep.  There were obvious benefits too, my total cholesterol dropped from 192 to 152, and my blood sugars were much more balanced using even less insulin than before.  So now, we stay vegan in the home (except for very special occasions and visitors) and when we eat out, we eat all types of food though keeping healthy eating in mind.
    We’re excited to bring a new baby into our home and share our great flavorful recipes with him.
    Vegan cookbooks tend to lack in flavor and fall far from exciting.  This is a recipe my husband created and used to cook in a fine dining kitchen in his younger years.  This soup is a very smooth, fresh, thick soup – so simple to make but with bursting flavor.  Because you’re blending up the carrots, it makes a nice rich soup and perfect for San Francisco weather.  Feel free to spice it up with more or less of anything according to your tastes.  Toast up some bread for dipping to add to the meal.

Carrot soup with oyster mushrooms and candied pecans  (vegan)

-3 lbs carrots
-1 medium onion
-Just enough bean stock, vegetable stock, or water to cover the
carrots (Bean stock is just the water you boil beans in)
-Salt and fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper to taste (the more, the tastier!)
-1 tsp olive oil + more for sauteing mushrooms
-4 ounces oyster mushrooms
Candied Pecans (see #2 below for how to make)
1) Boil carrots, onions, salt and pepper in stock or water (stock is
preferable) until tender.
2) While the carrots are cooking, make pecans in oven or toaster oven.  Toss pecans in a light dressing of olive oil, agave nectar, salt, splash of vanilla, cinnamon.  Sit for 3-5 minutes, then take out of dressing and place in toaster oven on 125 for about 10-15 minutes, checking frequently.  Very easy to burn.
3) Once carrots are tender, blend them up in blender (including the liquid) with 1 tsp olive oil until smooth.
4) Saute mushrooms over medium heat until light brown and crispy,
season with salt and pepper.
5)  Spoon soup into bowls top with mushrooms and candied pecans.
Garnish with olive oil and fresh ground pepper.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 8:37 pm

    Thanks for the inspiring story and interesting info! The recipe looks great, too! Can’t wait to try it out.


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