From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I've had really good luck with the soups I've tried this year. This weekend I found another that is a winner, both literally and figuratively. This wonderful soup won the carrot recipe contest at FOOD52, and one spoonful of this unlikely candidate will tell you why it received the honor. The carrots that form the base of of this soup are broiled rather than roasted. They are given a nuanced flavor boost with the addition small quantities of ginger, garlic and thyme, and the end result is a thick, creamy soup that contains no dairy of any kind. While the soup is a vegan delight, I've also seen carnivores wolf it down. The recipe is easy to follow and the only pitfall is the potential to burn the carrots while they are under the broiler. Watch them carefully. Use a good vegetable stock when you make the soup. It needn't be homemade, but it should be flavorful and not too salty. Vegetable stock is simple to make and I've included a recipe for those of you who would like to make your own. I know those of you who try this soup will rave about it. I served it to guests this weekend and it was really well received. I'll be making it over and over again. Here's the recipe.
Roasted Carrot Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of food52.com
6 to 8 large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided use
6 cups vegetable stock (good quality, not too high in sodium)
1 piece ginger, an inch long, peeled
1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
1/2 large sweet onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1) Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss carrots with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from heat source and turn on the broiler. Broil carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a spatula every 5 minutes or so; this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, bring stock to a boil, add ginger and sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3) Put onion in a medium stock pot with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Brown onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add garlic, cooking until fragrant, and then add carrots.
4) Remove ginger and thyme from stock and pour stock into pot containing onions and carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
5) Use an immersion or a standard blender to puree mixture until smooth. If it seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with chopped fresh thyme. Yield: 4 servings.
Vegetable Stock...from the kitchen of One Perfect Biteinspired by Mark Bittman
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, quartered
1 potato, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic
5 to 10 white mushrooms, halved or sliced
10 to 20 parsley stems or stems with leaves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Heat oil in a deep skillet or broad saucepan or casserole set over medium heat. When hot, add carrots, onion, potato, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook without stirring for about 5 minutes, then stir once or twice and cook until the vegetables begin to brown. (If you have more time, brown them well, stirring only infrequently.)
2) Add parsley, 6 cups water, soy sauce, and some pepper. Bring to a boil, adjusting heat so the mixture simmers steadily but gently. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. (Longer is better if you have the time.)
3) Strain, then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy sauce or a bit of salt, before using or storing. Yield: 6cups.
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