Thursday, January 23, 2014

Creamy Carrot Soup

Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream
It couldn't have been easier.  The song choice.  And the soup, for that matter.  Or more perfect.  A soup that is as bright and cheery as the sunshine and creamy as creamy can be.  Sigh.  And Eric Clapton singing to you about wanting to be with you - always.  Always, he says.  In the sunshine of your love.  Just think about that for a moment. You know, while you're enjoying a lovely warm bowl of soup. 

Sometimes you just need a bowl
of sunshine in the winter.
Something to remind you that green grass
and budding flowers are coming.
Sooner for some than others -
but they're coming still the same.

This soup has a healthy dose of
citrus, courtesy of an obliging orange.
And an orange is just as happily
colored as a carrot!

This soup also has a smidgeon of rice in it.
"Rice?" you say.
Yes, rice.
The rice acts as a thickener.
It works.
Trust me.

Many soups have you cooking and
stewing for hours.
What's nice about this soup
is that you don't want to cook it 
until the carrots get too tired.
Once they're tired they just say
"Pfft!  You want flavor?  Forget it!
I gave it all out and there's none left for you!"

You cook this soup until the carrots are very tender
but still colorful.
And then you blend them all up
while their flavor is still at their peak!
Add a little milk or cream and
you have the cure for the winter blahs!
Serve with a rustic crusty bread!
You're welcome!

Creamy Carrot Soup
serves 6
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1/4 c. uncooked long-grain rice
1 white onion, chopped
5 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 t. kosher salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 qt. vegetable or chicken stock
2 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
zest and juice from 1 orange
1 c. milk or cream

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter until butter is melted.  Add the chopped onions, carrots, salt, and the rice and stir to coat.  Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent - about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute, being careful that the garlic doesn't burn.

Add the sprigs of thyme and parsley along with the stock and orange zest.  Stir to mix.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover and simmer until the carrots are tender - about 20 minutes.

Remove the thyme and parsley sprigs and discard.  Blend the ingredients, in half batches, starting on the lowest setting of your blender.  Once the ingredients have been blended until smooth, return them to the pan and stir in the orange juice.  Gently reheat and stir in the milk or cream.  Taste and season with kosher salt and pepper.

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