A few days ago I mentioned wanting to expand my soup repertoire to include more root vegetables. In pursuit of that lofty ambition, I decided to start with carrot soup. Having searched my small cookbook collection in vain for a suitable recipe (being sadly disappointed by Larousse Gastronomique - I thought that epic volume had a recipe for everything), and being determined not to turn on the computer with its manifold webby temptations, I decided to draw a bow at a venture (or do I mean shoot from the hip?) and come up with something myself. (Dear me, what a rambling sentence that was.)
The resulting concoction was warm, spicy, colourful, and cheering. I shall call it "Sunshine Soup". Here is the loose recipe:
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
Salt and pepper to taste
1 quart chicken stock (to be divided)
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger (fresh would be even better but I was out)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Dash of cloves
Nutmeg to taste
1 or 2 red pepper flakes
More salt and pepper to taste
White wine (optional but recommended)
Heavy Cream (preferably without stabilizers or preservatives)
Fresh thyme or rosemary for garnish
Sour cream or crème fraïche for garnish (optional)
Heat some olive oil in a heavy pot. Sauté the onion and carrots, with salt and pepper to taste, until onion is soft. Add about half the stock. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until carrots are very tender. Remove from heat and puree, using a blender or an immersion blender. Add rest of stock and spices, with a splash of white wine. Return to heat, cover, and heat through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and enrich with a tablespoon or so of heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Garnish each serving with a dusting of fresh herbs, and sour cream or crème fraïche if desired. (Envisioning a lovely dollop of white floating on a sunny sea of orange, I garnished ours with sour cream. It promptly sank, and is therefore invisible in the photos. But it was quite tasty.)
|Sunshine Soup with garlic-rosemary focaccia|
and spinach salad on the side.
There's nothing like a shot of orange to dispel the kitchen blues.
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