march 25, 2016
When I was a kid cook, my parents bought two thin volumes we considered exotic at the time : cookbooks for German and French fare, with unusual ingredients not found in the States. Never a big cooked carrot fan, I nonetheless made Potage Crecy from the French book, a creamy carrot and potato soup, and got hooked. There followed attempts at whole chicken cooked in a pot with wine and tomato, German fish and mussel chowder and braised cucumber with sour cream. The only miss was liver dumplings from the German cookbook; the family dog became the recipient of that recipe.
I still have these beloved books ( from the Around the World series) and if I happen upon others in the collection at a cozy used bookstore, they will become my kitchen companions as well.
Creamy carrot soups now show up on The Good Eats Company menus. Carrot soup with tahini and sesame seeds, carrot soup with fresh garden mint and today’s recipe of gingered carrot soup.
If you use organic carrots, there is no need to peel them, and in fact, peeling would eliminate the nutrients you gain from buying organic! I learned this when seven pounds of carrots were on the menu for a cook date. My hands were saved that day, and now I agree that nutrition and taste are improved with just a simple scrub.
This soup tastes much better if made ahead and may be served chilled or at room temperature. A handy immersion blender will make it creamy (but you are welcome to use a blender or food processor; be careful of splatters and puree in batches). I have included directions for making the vegan version of the soup, and an easy recipe for garlic croutons to garnish, which may also be made ahead by several days.
Gingered Carrot Soup
makes four servings
¾ cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
fine sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon grated fresh ginger
one small garlic clove, zested or finely minced
1 ¼ pounds scrubbed and unpeeled organic carrots, chopped/diced
one small potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and diced
4 cups best quality vegetable stock
¼ cup heavy cream
optional garnishes : garlic croutons (see below, or purchase), sour cream
- In heavy two quart saucepan, melt butter with onion and pinches of salt and white pepper over medium high heat.
- When mixture begins to sizzle, turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and translucent (avoid browning), about 8-10 minutes.
- Add ginger and garlic and stir about 10 seconds.
- Add carrot, potato and stock; bring mixture to boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Puree soup with immersion hand blender (or carefully in food processor/blender, in batches).
- Add cream and adjust seasonings.
- Serve immediately, or up to 4 days ahead (soup improves with overnight refrigeration).
- Soup may be served chilled, at room temperature or gently heated on the stovetop.
- Garnish as desired.
In medium large oven-proof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter with a small zested or finely minced garlic clove and cook until it just begins to foam. Add a pinch of fine salt and toss in 2 loose cups of cubed bread ( I use Udi’s white gluten free, about 4 slices), coating well with butter. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, stirring gently with spatula to distribute heat, or until nice and golden. Once cooled, store tightly covered until ready to use (up to one week ahead).
veganize this recipe!
Use vegan margarine in place of butter and nondairy milk (almond, rice, but best is coconut milk of maximum creaminess) instead of cream.