Those of you who have read this blog for any length of time are likely doing a double take right now. You're not imagining things – that's carrot soup. The much maligned vegetable has – until recently – only made guest appearances in my kitchen in recipes like beef stew or chicken soup. On it's own, I've had an aversion to them most of my life. I'm not sure if it's because of the horrific dilled carrots my mom used to make (bless her heart, she could cook anything…except carrots) but I've cultivated my disdain for them for years.
Well. In the effort of not wasting food – and in the effort of not going out in yesterday's monsoon – I wanted to make some sort of soup out of the stragglers left in the fridge. At first, I was going to hide them in a soup with some lentils and sweet potatoes. The soup got simpler and simpler until this recipe came about – nothing covering them up. Just an accent of fresh orange juice and a little honey. It's simple and delicious. It also provided a nice pop of color on an otherwise dreary, gray day. I garnished my bowl with a little sour cream and some toasted cumin seeds – I like the smokey accent with the mellow sweetness of the soup. You could also top this with mint or cilantro, as well as toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds.
Honeyed Carrot & Orange Soup – serves 4 as starter
– Melt the butter gently in a medium saucepan then add the carrots, onion and garlic. Put the lid on the pot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened but not browned (about 15 minutes).
– Pour in the stock, water and a pinch of salt (if you're not using low sodium stock, save this step for last). Bring to the boil and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool before pureeing.
– Pour cooled vegetable mixture in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Add orange juice and bring back to a simmer. Add honey and salt & pepper (to taste). Garnish with a swirl of creme fraiche, sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted cumin seeds, if you choose. Serve immediately.