I started a tradition last year at Christmas. I decided I was going to take carrot stew and rolls around to all of my neighbors. This was all inspired when last December I woke up one morning, looked at the house next door and thought, "Oh my gosh! I've lived next door to the same people for 3 1/2 years and I've never met them."
So I made a huge pot of carrot stew, purchased tupper ware from the dollar store, bought a bag of Rhodes frozen rolls because I don't do homemade bread so that's the best people are gonna' get from me, and I made up some homemade Christmas gifts.
It's healthy, it's cheap, and, gosh darn it, people like it!
My family was introduced to this stuff when we lived in Scotland years ago. A lady invited us all over for some carrot stew. I was 12 years old at the time and I remember crinkling up my nose and thinking, "Carrot stew? That sounds weird." But it was amazing and luckily my mother had the good sense to ask the woman for the recipe, which she gladly shared.
Just on a side note, I also remember that the woman lived in a house that was like a maze. It was the strangest floor plan I'd ever seen - but a lot of fun for kids to run around in and play hide and seek. Also, they had a large dog and rabbit that were best friends. Random, I know, but an interesting little tidbit that's connected with the memory of my first carrot stew experience.
Now, I don't know if I make it exactly the same way as the woman or my mother, but here's how I make it so here's what you're gonna' get:
4 celery stalks
1 small onion
1 tsp garlic
4 Chicken bouillon cubes
Peel carrots and potatoes and put them in a pot to boil.
Finely chop onion and celery and saute in butter with garlic (I use about 2 tablespoons of butter). Add dill, parsley, salt and pepper - as much or as little as you want. I go easy on the salt and pepper, but I add about 1 to 2 tsp each of dill and parsley.
When everything is soft, spoon in carrots and potatoes, then celery and onion mixture, then carrots and potatoes and celery and onion mixture, back and forth until the blender is filled. Puree everything and dump into a bigger pot. (I always spoon in some of the water from the carrot and potato water to the blender so the vegetables will blend up nice and creamy) Then spoon in more carrots and potatoes and celery and onion mixture and puree. Do this until everything has been pureed.
Once everything is in the pot, add a little water until creamy soup is the desired thickness (or thinness - I prefer mine a little thicker and creamier). Add 4 chicken bouillon cubes while soup is simmering. Salt and pepper to taste.
So, there you go.
I quadruple this recipe and it makes enough to give to 10 families.