Okay, so Carrot Soup has been done before. The Goddess does not live under a rock, so she’s aware of this. But, she thinks it’s just a good idea to master “basic” recipes. Then that recipe can then be a “jumping off” point for new flavor adventures. This is such a recipe. I think comfort food is a memory or flavor, or the memory of a flavor. But, I think the true essence of comfort, as it applies to food, is a purity of flavor. Think about it. Take mac and cheese…most people get a starry, dreamy look in their eyes when they hear that’s what’s for dinner. Okay, at least the people I know do. Now, you can toss in some lobster or green chiles or blue cheese or chicken or bacon or whatever tickles your taste buds at the moment. And it will be delicious. But, it’s the basic mac and cheese that people think about. That they remember. That they hunger for. So, learn to master a basic recipe, and you have a world of flavors at your fingertips.
Our “basic” carrot soup is—onion, carrots, broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper. I am going to add some heavy cream…I think! Right now, at this moment, I’m not certain I want to add the richness. It will depend on what I decide to serve with it. I’m thinking some toasted homemade Cheddar-Dill Bread. I’ve dusted off my bread machine and started using it again. I seem to go in phases with the bread machine…hmmm. Do you do that?
First, I’ll taste the carrots, then I’ll decide.
Speaking of carrots, you can now purchase these wonderfully colored carrots—white, purple, as well as, orange. I love their colorful variety and each color tastes just a tad different. Here, I used mostly orange, but threw in a purple one, to deepen the color.First, I “sweat” the onions in butter (see the Terminology page), over low heat. That’s a good place to start with any soup. Then I add the bay leaf, carrots and broth. Cover the pot and cook over low heat until the carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Taste a carrot slice. Is it sufficiently sweet? If not, add the sugar or honey. Is it too sweet? If so, add the lemon juice. Definitely add the salt and pepper. Vegetables need salt. Now, pitch the bay leaf. Either purée right in the pot with an immersion blender or add the veggies to a blender and purée. Remember: Do not over-fill the container. Remove the center and place a kitchen towel over the hole. The soup will be much smoother if you use the blender and strain it. Thin with additional broth, until you reach the consistency you desire. I like it more on the thicker side, as you can see. You may serve this soup either hot or cold. That’s it! It will be supremely carrot-y and delicious. It’s low-cal (without the cream) and you’ll get your vitamin A for the week!
Now, having gone on and on about a “basic” carrot soup, the purity of flavor and all that!
I added 1/2 cup heavy cream, so we’re having Cream of Carrot Soup for dinner!
- 1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6-8 medium-sized carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2-1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
In a heavy-bottomed pot, sweat the onions in butter, over very low heat, until tender. Cover. The onions should not brown. Add the bay leaf, carrots and broth. Cover and continue to simmer over low heat until the carrots are extremely tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Purée until smooth. Return to the pot; taste and add the sweetening agent and/or lemon juice, if needed. Serve either hot or cold. Soup reheats very well.
NOTE: This is a basic recipe. Add herbs (either fresh or dry), spices, heavy cream, wine, cooked rice or pasta, etc. as desired.
Carrot Soup Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.
I think I should point out that you do not need to purée this soup. It is lovely just as it is, but if I’m intending to serve it “chunky”, then I usually dice the carrots, instead of slicing them. But, that’s my option. It doesn’t have to be yours!