Sunday, October 03, 2004

Soup's On! : Cream of Carrot soup

This is my absolute favorite soup. The backstory: when I was at grad school, I was a student assistant for the Director of the school during my first year. Before the Christmas break, he invited all the student assistants, the MLB/MLIS students, and some of the staff for a formal dinner party. He served this soup and made us guess what was in it. I don't recall that any of us were at all close, but afterwards I asked for a copy of the recipe. It came from the newspaper (my best guess - the Chronicle Herald), so I don't know where it came from before then.

Anyways, there are a whole host of soups that are similar to this - creamy, slightly sweet, and with a warm spicy flavor. I also have a recipe for sweet potato soup that's along these lines (but it's a bit spicier), and am on the hunt for a pumpkin and/or squash soup.
  • 6 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 2lb carrots, peeled and chopped (you can get 2lb bags of carrots at the grocery store)
  • 1 medium or half a large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 cup milk
Combine broth, carrots, onion and celery in a large pot, and boil for 15 min. Remove from heat, and puree until smooth. Return pot to medium heat.

In a small bowl, combine water and flour until smooth, and add to the puree. Cook until thickened and reduce heat to simmer. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Ta-da!

Some notes:
  • Since the mixture is going to be pureed, I'd suggest cutting the vegetables into small bits. It takes longer, but it's easier to puree.
  • There are any number of ways to puree the mixture - in a blender, in a food processor, etc. I have a Braun hand blender (not this exact one, but something like this), and it does a fabulous job.
  • By far, this is rather prep-intensive. You've got to peel 2lbs of carrots and chop them into itty bits, and then chop celery and onions into itty bits as well. It goes faster if you have help.
  • Instead of light cream, you can use 2% or homogenized milk.
Bon appetite!