Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cream of Carrot Soup

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I originally clipped this recipe because the soup seemed like a great way to start a holiday meal. The recipe came from Food and Wine magazine and I have had great luck using their recipes, so, I decided to included it in my plans for Easter dinner. As it turned out, dinner was much simpler than the plan and the soup was the only dish that actually made it to the table. This is a nice recipe, and while I will make it again, I don't think I'd use it to start a holiday meal. I have some cautions and a bright note to share with you. First, the cautions. The directions specify a quart of water and a quart of stock are needed to make the soup. I think the soup is too thin if it is prepared this way, so I cut each liquid by a full cup to give the soup more substance. I also recommend using green topped carrot to maximize their flavor in the soup. This soup is really mild and the true flavor punch comes from the scallion and poppy seed garnish that is used when it is served. That seems like a strange combination, but it actually works here. Now, for the really good news, Sans garnish, toddlers love the soup. We had a visitor who wanted soup in a sippy cup and this carrot soup was thin enough that we could comply with the request. It was a big hit with the peanut gallery. Those no longer sippin' soup liked it, but it did not garner rave reviews from them. I want to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with this soup, but it will not be a crowd favorite. It is simple and inexpensive to make and if you enjoy mildly flavored soups, I think you'll enjoy it. Here is how it's made.

Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Marcia Kiessel and Food and Wine magazine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 to 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 to 4 cups water
2 pounds carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
6 large scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1) Melt butter in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and water along with carrots and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add scallions and poppy seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until scallions are softened, about 1 minute.
3) Working in batches, puree carrot soup in a blender until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree carrot mixture. Stir in cream and milk and simmer over moderate heat. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the scallions and poppy seeds and serve. Yield: 8 to 12 servings.

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