rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2006-10-02 01:04 am

"A pinch and a punch for the first of the month. White rabbit!"

For those of you who said "rabbit rabbit" when you woke up today, here are some carrots to feed that rabbit.

Based on this recipe and the comments appended thereto. Takes about two hours. Makes about 3 quarts of soup (very rough estimate).

Dice finely:

1/2 white onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh ginger

Slice in food processor:

2 lbs carrots

In a pot that holds at least 4 quarts, heat over medium-high flame:

2.5 tbsp oil

When oil is hot, add onion and ginger. Turn down flame so that onion will melt instead of browning. Stir occasionally. When onion is translucent (after about 5 minutes), add:

2 quarts broth or stock
Sliced carrots
1 tsp dried tarragon or 1/2 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped (if you want less tarragon flavor, omit it at this stage and add it at the end)
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
2 bay leaves (optional)

Cover pot. Heat until boiling and then reduce to simmer. Simmer until carrots are soft, 20-30 minutes. While soup is simmering, rinse out the food processor. Admire the fine orange sheen that beta carotene gives to the plastic.

Strain liquid into bowl. Remove and discard bay leaves if you added them. Puree solids in processor. Return puree to pot and heat over low flame. Stir in liquid.

Into a small bowl, pour:

1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Stir 1/2 cup of puree into the cream, a little at a time, so that it won't curdle. Pour cream/puree mixture into pot and stir in. Add:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon
1/8 tsp chili powder, black pepper, or other spicy substance of your choice
Tarragon if you didn't add it before

Stir for five minutes, until very hot. Remove from heat. Garnish with julienned carrots and ginger or small dollop of ginger ice cream. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers; freeze if not eaten next day.

This soup is, for me, the perfect fall/winter food. The flavors are very rich, but only the ginger really jumps out at you. I deliberately restrained myself with the nutmeg, so it's subtle as nutmeg only rarely manages to be; the tarragon clearly adds something, but you don't find yourself thinking "oh, wow, tarragon". It's hard to tell where the spiciness of ginger ends and the chili powder begins. The soup was very flat when I first tasted it, and then I added the salt and bang! it popped up into three dimensions. The salt particularly brings out the smooth mellow notes of the cream and the sweetness of the carrots and tarragon. It's creamy enough that Java tried to lick the bowl (the ginger gave him a bit of a nasty shock), but not too rich, especially if your stock is well-skimmed.

If you use vegetable broth, it's vegetarian; the only non-vegan item is the cream, and that can probably be substituted for in some fashion. I used Imagine's "No-Chicken" stock because I like it, but I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, so I can't really comment on appropriate substitutions. Experiment! That's what a kitchen is for.

[identity profile] simplykimberly.livejournal.com 2006-10-02 06:17 am (UTC)(link)
I make a fantastic Sweet Potato Bisque that this recipe reminds me of. It's also fabulous with finely chopped candied ginger as a garnish, with the dollops of sour cream ... yummmm! Holler if you want the recipe - it's fantastic, and I'm not really big into sweet potatoes, but YUM it's good! I can't help making "mmm" noises when I eat it. I mean it. I can't help it. At all!

[identity profile] simplykimberly.livejournal.com 2006-10-02 07:05 am (UTC)(link)
http://www.bobrow.net/kimberly/Cooking/SweetPotatoBisque.html

Let me know if you try it - it's REALLY tasty! And like you found with the carrot soup, salting appropriately makes it pop! It's really great with the candied ginger bits ... oh god ... I think I'm going to have to make some soon. It's just SOOOOO good!

[identity profile] auntyglory.livejournal.com 2006-10-02 08:12 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for that! It sounds delicious and I intend to try it.

[identity profile] ajjones.livejournal.com 2006-10-02 10:09 am (UTC)(link)
That sounds yumbo. I'm gonna make it.

[identity profile] regyt.livejournal.com 2006-10-02 01:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Sounds really tasty! I'd have to add rice or barley or something, because I can't handle puree soups without some added texture, but the flavor sounds lovely.

[identity profile] regyt.livejournal.com 2006-10-03 11:48 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds lovely.

[identity profile] phaedra-lari.livejournal.com 2006-10-03 01:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Sounds yummy! I may try making it vegan. I'm betting that coconut milk would work well for the cream, though it would change the flavor. Or I could use soy milk and just have it be less rich.

[identity profile] phaedra-lari.livejournal.com 2009-11-06 02:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I made some carrot soup that had no direct cream substitute, but added some potatoes for extra rich mouthfeel. Served with a swirl of vegan sour cream or non-vegan quark/sour cream, it was lovely. Mostly I've been making pumpkin soup these days, with coconut milk and curry powder and garam masala.