Originally posted on Localvore Today's The Daily Beet on December 2, 2015. 

Sometimes, a two-pound bag of juicing carrots feels like the steal of the century when we’re filling up our shopping cart – and then we take it home. The colossal, plastic sac of orange nubbins and Big Bird feet-esque roots quickly goes from the most adult decision we made of the day to a puzzle more complicated than the latest episode of The Leftovers (where did they all go!?).

But never fear – we’ve got two recipes that use a ton of ugly carrots without a ton of work in the kitchen:

Cider Roasted Carrots

Sweet, yet with a little tang from the cider vinegar, this is a great side to make for a group – easy to prepare and without a whole mess of ingredients you’re not apt to have in the pantry. The ricotta can be omitted without a great deal of sadness, but it does add a certain sense of indulgence.

Ingredients

  • 12 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 C apple cider
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 big pinch salt
  • 1-2 big scoops of ricotta
  • 3-4 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF
  2. Mix everything besides the cheese and seeds in a casserole dish and cook for 45 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  3. Remove, allow to cool a bit, and garnish with a scoop of soft ricotta on top and a scattering of crunchy pumpkin seeds across the top.

[Recipe adapted from Munchie's Roasted Carrots with Pistachios and Apple Cider Gastrique by Matty Matheson.]

Carrot Soup

This is a great winter staple - filling and full of cold-weather vitamins. Puréed soup never sounds too sexy, but they’re a worthwhile “skill” to get familiar with. We say “skill” because loading up a blender and flicking the 'on' switch is a quick trick to master. Make a big batch and put some in the freezer for that day of the week that you typically resort to pizza delivery (hey, the bank account always needs a little extra help during the holidays).

Ingredients

  • 8 large carrots, peeled
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 6 C stock (vegetable or chicken, low sodium preferred)
  • 1-2” peeled ginger cut into a few pieces
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 C sweet onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  2. Cut the carrots onion up into two-inch pieces. Toss these and the garlic cloves (paper on) with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Broil in the oven, turning every 10 minutes or so, until tender. About 25-30 minutes.
  3. Simmer the broth, and add the ginger and thyme. If you like a milder soup, pull the ginger out before blending. We go all in and purée the whole shebang.
  4. Put everything into the simmering broth pot and blend smooth with an emulsion blender. If you’re using a standard blender or food processor, add roasted vegetables and purée in batches.
  5. Serve with a dollop of goat cheese and a little swig of your favorite vinegar over top.

[Recipe adapted from Food52's Roasted Carrot Soup submitted by Reeve.]