April 23, 2012
Drink in the Warmth
This month has been quite a jumble of plans set aside, unexpected interruptions, and the need for extra days of rest. I've been doing most of my cooking with whatever I can find in the cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator. I haven't been cooking a lot, but I've appreciated whatever chance I get to return to the stove. The meditation of chopping, sauteing, and stirring provides nourishment even before we sit down to the meal. It the midst of a hectic day or a stressful situation, soup is a chance to sit calmly, pause for a moment and to drink in the warmth.
I'm picky about soup, but I've had a couple of carrot soups at restaurants that I loved. They were flavorful, rich, satisfying but seemingly simple and straight-forward. I did my best to replicate those bright orange bowls with this roasted carrot ginger soup.
Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
I started this soup by taking the carrot peels (and some I had saved from other carrots) an onion and some garlic and made a carrot stock to use for the soup (for stock making, check out this post). That is entirely optional, but a nice way to use some carrot peels for a broth which compliments the flavor of the soup. The carrot is roasted with the seasonings, but you may want to add more once the soup has been pureed if you like it more gingery, etc.
2 lbs carrots
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable stock (see above)
2 cups water
milk or cream
Preheat the oven to 400' Peel the carrots and cut across the carrot into rounds of about the same thickness. Toss the carrots with the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, salt and pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the carrots on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven. Stir them occasionally, to ensure even cooking. They are ready when they are slightly caramelized and tender when pierced with a fork. Place the roasted carrots in a soup pot and add the broth and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes. Puree the soup using an immersion or regular blender, until very smooth. Add milk or cream if you wish and adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve topped with creme fraiche and a pinch of grated carrot. Makes about four servings.