Creamy Carrot Soup

January 5, 2011

I am normally not a huge fan of carrots.  I enjoy them raw, dipped in a creamy dressing, or when they’re almost obliterated in a hearty stew or soup, but I usually steer clear of them as a main attraction.  I’ve never been one to whip up glazed carrots on Thanksgiving, for some reason the whole idea sounds like something out of one of those plastic bound church cookbooks from the 1950s.  The ones where there’s mayonnaise, corn flakes and Velveeta in every other recipe.  And whenever I see a recipe for carrot soup, those two words together sound most unappetizing to my ears, and my mouth.

But my stigma of carrots changed last night when our cupboards were almost empty and we didn’t feel like going to the store.  That’s usually the scenario when I become more open minded about foods that I normally ignore, although I have yet to truly embrace beets and celery.  This soup is subtle, it doesn’t scream any particular flavor, it is, quite simply, unpretentious.  And I enjoy a good unpretentious soup sometimes, especially one that’s as lovely in color as this one.   The recipe says that the cream/sour cream is optional but without it, it’s a bit bland and carroty, so I’ve removed the optional status and would go so far as to say that if you don’t have either, save the recipe for when you do.

Creamy Carrot Soup

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

 

3 Tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, sliced

1 pound carrots, roughly chopped

1 large potato, peeled and roughly chopped

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

5 cups vegetable broth or water

2 tsp sugar, or to taste (optional) – I used 1 tsp and it brought out the sweetness of the carrots a bit more

1/2 cup cream or sour cream

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves for garnish

1. Put the butter or oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat.  When the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the carrots soften a bit.  Add the stock and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot.  Or cool the mixture slightly, pass it through a food mill or pour it into a blender, and puree carefully until smooth, working in batches if necessary.  (You can prepare the soup in advance up to this point.  Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding).  Adjust the seasoning; if the soup tastes flat, stir in the sugar to play up the carrot flavor.

3. If you’re serving the soup hot, reheat it in the saucepan.  If you’re serving it cold, refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.  Either way, stir in the cream or sour cream, then garnish and serve.

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