Saturday, February 23, 2013

ChezCindy: Break the Winter Blues with Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup
Carrots can generally be found in vegetable bins in most homes.  Underappreciated and not really thought of as the star ingredient.  Perhaps maybe with carrot cake.  No argument there.   Always yummy and delicious. But I was looking for more ways to enjoy carrots for lunch and dinner.

Carrots are inexpensive, super healthy, and delicious.  I prefer them cooked as opposed to eating them raw.  Cooking highlights the flavor of carrots and they need little adornment.  I enjoy them roasted with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Always easy and quick as a side dish for dinner. 

This carrot soup recipe turned out to be a perfect winter soup.  It's bright orange color is sunny even on the grayest winter day. Great texture, creamy without using any cream; with a subtle sweetness brought out by addition of parsnips.  I used chicken broth for additional depth and richness, but you can use vegetable stock if you are looking for a vegetarian option. 

Carrot Soup

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound carrots
3/4 pound parsnips
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil or butter

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy bottom soup pan.  Add the chopped onion; cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat until soft.  Peel the carrots and parsnips; cut into 1-inch pieces; add to the pan.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt; stir to combine; cook for 5 minutes.  Add the stock and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes.

Working in batches, process the carrot mixture in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) pureeing until smooth.  Return the pureed soup to the pan.  At this point, test for seasoning, adding the white pepper and more salt if necessary. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter to finish the soup.  If the soup seems to thick, add more water to reach the consistency desired.  Serve hot. 

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