Recipe: roasted carrot soup
This past week was a really good one for me. Jeremy was out of town for the last half, so I plowed through heaps of work in addition to spending quality time with Kaweah. Warmer than normal weather meant Kaweah could sprawl out for countless hours on the deck (something she loves to do) without freezing or overheating. I packed my schedule to free up more leisure time when Jeremy came home.
kaweah soaks up all of the morning sun
and she periodically got up to sniff the latest news
i was quite excited to get new trail runners in the mail
And then late Wednesday night I got a message from a friend, asking if I was free to meet up for a last minute lunch or coffee the next day. Absolutely. I moved everything around in my schedule and drove into Boulder because you see, this was my best friend from high school who lives on the East Coast. We’ve known each other since fourth grade. We hadn’t seen one another in over 20 years.
I waited outside The Kitchen, sending an email to a client when I heard a familiar voice call out, “Yuie!” The best people in my life give the best hugs and Clark is definitely one of them. It’s been a long time, I thought. All of the events since we last saw one another hit me in a wave and I blinked back the tears. It’s often said that good friends can pick up from wherever they left off and we immediately began sharing our lives, talking about our families, discussing happiness, life choices, aging dogs. The natural back and forth of conversation, so relaxed yet enthusiastic, made me realize just how close we were and still are. Two hours is such a short window of time to catch up on 20+ years, but it left both of us with the promise to get our families together and smiles that would last the rest of the day.
a great sunset to close out the weekend
That visit put my mood in the stratosphere. Good relationships are important for feeding your soul just like a good soup feeds your body (and your soul). I have fallen madly in love with this roasted carrot soup – so much so that I’ve made it three times in the last week. When Jeremy landed in Denver he texted me about dinner plans. Should we meet in Boulder at a restaurant or eat at home? I was already making the soup. After an entire day of travel, I figured he might enjoy relaxing at home with a nice meal, a glass of good wine, and perhaps unwinding in front of a movie.
so simple: celery, onion, carrots, olive oil, chicken broth, butter, salt, white pepper, ginger
dice the carrots
toss with olive oil
Roasted carrot soup has been on my “to make” list for years. I know it sounds boring, but hear me out – it is wonderful. Carrots are sweet, delightful root vegetables that get even sweeter and more delightful when roasted. The addition of ginger lends a warming, zingy fullness to the entire soup. My only complaint was that the recipe yielded a little more than two medium bowls of soup. So I doubled it in the recipe listed below because it is THAT good.
prep the rest while the carrots are roasting: grated ginger, diced onion, diced celery
All of the steps to make the soup are easy, but two steps require unsupervised time: 1) roasting the carrots for 45 minutes and 2) simmering the soup for 45 minutes. If you don’t have that kind of time on a weeknight for making soup, roast the carrots ahead of time. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for a few days, no problem. Also, it’s easy enough to make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. Substitute more olive oil for the butter and it’s vegan.
sauté onions in butter
add celery (and ginger)
stir in the roasted carrots
pour the chicken broth (and water) into the pot
If ever there was a reason to get an immersion blender, this is it. I’ve had to wipe soup off my kitchen walls, ceiling, and floor before when puréeing in my regular blender. Even if the soup doesn’t explode all over your kitchen, you have to purée it in batches and then you have a dirty blender to wash. My immersion blender goes straight into the pot and purées the soup without any mess in one fell swoop. Then the base detaches and is so much easier to clean than a blender pitcher.
after simmering for 45 minutes
We love this soup. It’s full of vegetables, great flavor, and makes a nice meal with a sandwich, salad, or a side of roasted Brussels sprouts. I particularly love to fry fresh sage in butter as a garnish. Oh, a few croutons on top go amazingly well with it too. Bacon – bacon is always a winner if you want to sprinkle some crumbled bacon on top. Not only is this soup absolutely delicious, it’s good for you to boot. Winning!
so warming and satisfying on a cold day
Roasted Carrot Soup
modified from Fine Cooking
2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into large dice (3/4-inch)
2 tbsps olive oil
3 tbsps butter, unsalted
1 medium onion, medium dice
2 large ribs of celery, medium dice
2 tbsps fresh ginger, grated
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, homemade (store-bought can be substituted)
4 cups water
2 tsps kosher salt (use half if using table salt)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the diced carrots in a large baking or roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the carrots and toss to coat evenly. Roast the carrots for 45 minutes, stirring the carrots after the first 25 minutes or roasting. Remove from oven. Heat the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for three minutes until translucent. Add the celery and ginger to the onions and sauté for 4 more minutes. Stir in the roasted carrots, broth, water, salt, and white pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low so that it is actively simmering. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 45 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, let the soup cool completely before puréeing in a blender or food processor. Just take care that you do it in batches so the blender is never more than 1/3 full and that you cover the lid tightly to avoid soup explosions (it happens, I know from experience). Reheat the puréed soup if necessary, season with more salt as necessary, and serve. Serves 4-6. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
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