Saturday, February 2, 2013

Carrot Soup

I wanted to make a soup with what I could find (because I didn't want to have to run out to the store).
Sometimes that can be a bit of a challenge- especially when you start thinking of what you would like to do and as it turns out whatever you're imagining isn't available to you.
But I think I got lucky this time around.
Most of the things I chose to use I consider staples, and others I was able to find from grocery runs earlier in the week.

There's a little patch of thyme in the backyard. I'm always taking sprigs, so I'm grateful it's right there. It's my favorite. I'm not saying that everyone can just run out and grab thyme from the backyard, but it certainly helps to have it there at my disposal when I want some since it seems to survive year-round. I think everyone should consider growing herbs.

One ingredient I really wanted was ginger, I didn't want the less-potent dried ginger, and there wasn't any fresh laying around. I was ready for disappointment, but...
I remembered I had a pot of ginger growing next to the back door.  I'd planted it more than a year ago, it was sort of an experiment, and long story short, it takes a while to mature (apparently you're not supposed to dig up the root until the leaves start turning brown), and I hadn't tried using it yet.

The project started when I bought more ginger than I ended up using and some of the extra pieces decided to start sprouting.  No one I'd asked knew anything about the plant since it's not really something native to the midwest. The great thing was that after it was potted, it took, cooperated, and grew.
Apparently it's now ready for use.
Ginger is officially do-able.

And so, the carrot soup was pulled together.  It's a soup that's fresh, fairly healthy, a little zing, nice bright color (working very well within the self-imposed color theme), and an easy way to eat vegetables if it happens to be a difficult task. It's not bad at all.
I can attest that warm carrot soup eaten with a dollop of yogurt and toasted almond slices, plus a bit of parsley for a bit of green flavor, is really a treat.

If carrots are organic (preferable), you can get away with just giving them a good scrub to remove any dirt, but if they're not, you should probably go ahead and peel them.

Sometime, I think I may try a version with rosemary or curry.

Carrot Soup
serves at least 6

2 lb. (907 g/scant 1 kg) carrots, scrubbed/peeled and roughly cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, large diced
5 cloves of garlic
3 T (45 ml) olive oil
1 1/2 (6 g) t kosher salt
1/2 t (2 g) freshly ground black pepper
6 c (1 1/2 L)  chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium would be better, since you can ultimately decide the salt content)
1 T (15 g) freshly grated ginger, maybe a thumb-sized piece
5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
a generous pinch of cinnamon
1 lemon, juiced 
1/2 c (120 ml) heavy cream

Possible accompaniments: chives, parsley, plain yogurt, toasted almond slices, caramelized shallots

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/205 C.
Toss carrots, onion, and garlic together with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once or twice.
While the vegetables cook, bring the chicken broth to a simmer along with the thyme and ginger. Pour the roasted vegetables into the simmering stock along with the cinnamon. Continue simmering the soup until the carrots are very soft, at least 15 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender, or with an immersion blender. Stir 1 T (15 ml) fresh lemon juice into the carrot puree, then add the cream.
Taste and add additional cinnamon, lemon juice, salt or pepper as necessary.
Serve warm, garnish as desired.


  1. I'm not a huge cooked carrot fan but I think I'd make an exception with this. Could you use squash instead of carrots?

    FYI: I hear old school Peter Rabbit is becoming popular again.


    1. Of course you could use squash- I bet it'd be pretty good!