Two Trees Blend is one of our signature Ventura Spices. In Ventura, Two Trees is a beloved monument of two trees standing atop a foothill. Though just two simple tree trees, it is visible from most of Ventura. The trees stand as sentinels having survived fire, vandalism, and drought; and that survival constantly reminds us of the steadfastness and strength of nature. As a way to raise funds for the Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust, which has stewardship of Ventura’s beloved Two Trees, Ashley Pope created this herby, sharp, citrus blend. Ashley spent time up on the hill with the trees identifying plants which grew wild around the trees and across the foothills, and thus a blend with mustard seed, thyme, lemon verbena, and basil was born!
The earthness of the mustard seed and the brightness of the citrus notes lend this seasoning especially well to hearty vegetables such as roasted squash, carrots, and tomato sauces.
The ingredients of Two Tree Blend are really the everyday plants that we see growing wild here in Ventura county, but when combined they become something much more than everyday and common. With this dish, we did the same by combining everyday common foods, carrots and canned tomatoes, to create a hearty substantial and delicious soup that is much more than its simple ingredients may indicate.
Two Trees Roasted Carrot Soup
Preheat oven to 400° F.
While oven preheats, prepare your vegetables and then mix together olive oil, carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Place vegetables on a sheet pan and place in preheated oven.
Roast vegetables for 25-40 minutes or until carrots are cooked through.
Remove from oven and after cooling down, blend vegetables with 2 cups broth until smooth.
In a pot on the stove over medium low heat, combine carrot mixture with crushed tomatoes.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and Two Trees Seasoning. Heat gently until warm.
Add additional broth if soup is too thick.
This method of roasting seasoned vegetables and then blending with a broth is one we invite you to try with different vegetables. Carrots and canned tomatoes are available and good year round, but you may want to try asparagus during the spring, yellow squash during the summer, broccoli or cauliflower during the fall, and sweet potatoes during the winter. All of these vegetables pair well with the Two Trees Seasoning. A touch of cream--or plant milk added right before serving also transforms this soup into a cream soup.
If you'd like more recipes featuring Two Trees Seasoning, check out our Ventura Spice Spice-Scription Box! It includes 3 recipes featuring Two Trees Seasoning, all the spices needed to create the recipes, and a letter with lots of tips and tricks for cooking those recipes--and cooking in general!
Happy Cooking! We'd love to hear how you use Two Trees Seasoning!