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A coworker made these vegan mushroom tarts for a Food Day we had before the holidays. They are easy and tasty. I made them to bring to Christmas dinner at my brother and sister-in-laws, and they were completely gobbled up.

Plus, when you put the puff pastry in the muffin tins, it automatically makes them look really pretty.

Mushroom Tarts
1 or 1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms (I used 8 oz of baby bella and 4 oz of assorted specialty mushrooms — oyster, shitake, cremini)
1/2 medium onion, sliced
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar
2 sheets of puff pastry (I used Trader Joe’s)

Saute the onion in the butter and oil over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes.

Add sliced mushrooms, and let every thing cook down for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash or two of balsamic vinegar.

Refrigerate the mushroom mixture, anywhere from 1 hour to overnight, depending on how much time you have.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw the sheets of puff pastry. Cut into squares and put into muffin tins. Place a spoonful of mushroom mixture in the middle of each puff pastry square. Bake for 15-20 minutes (keep an eye that the puff pastry isn’t getting too brown).

This recipe made 18 tarts. When I make it again, I may drop a dollop of goat cheese on top of them when they come right out of the oven.

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I am getting winter boxes from my CSA; one box every two weeks. As you might imagine, they are full of root vegetables, so my experimentation with those continues. (Also, I have squash, potatoes, and beets for you, SIL!)

Since I had two bags of beautiful carrots, I went looking around for a soup recipe.

Curried Carrot Soup
Adapted from The Food Network

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1- or 2-inch pieces
4 cups vegetarian stock
Salt
Sour cream
Chives

In medium pot over medium heat, add olive oil, butter and onions; cook for 20-30 minutes.

Add carrots and saute 5 minutes. Add curry powder and cinnamon and saute for 1 minute. Add 4 cups vegetarian stock, and about 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock, up to 2 cups, to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasonings.

(I haven’t tried it with the sour cream and chives, but hey, it looks pretty.) Place sour cream in a plastic condiment squeeze bottle or into a medium food storage bag. Cut a very small hole in the corner of the bag with scissors. Ladle soup into bowls and squirt a swirl of sour cream around the bowl from the center out to the rim. Drag a toothpick from the center of the bowls out to the edges, forming a spider web design on soup. Pile a few pieces of cut chives at the center of each bowl to resemble green spiders in their webs.

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This soup is spicier than I thought it would be, but I plan on eating every bite. I’ll probably try it with a dollop of sour cream (lots of dollops here today), but since I’m not trying to impress anyone with it, I won’t make the pretty spider web pattern.

Readers, I have turnips. What the heck do I do with turnips? Aside from mashing them with some potatoes. I know that trick.

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