Thursday, December 22, 2011

Charred Carrot Soup

This soup comes from the 1987 edition of The Best of Food and Wine. It was quite a bit of work, but certainly a different sort of soup than I typically make. I used a food mill rather than a food processor and I put the soup through a fine sieve after. I suppose that might have made it seem like more work (and grating carrots on a box grater) but I am unwilling to give up counter space to a food processor i will use only occasionally. I rarely used mine, and when it broke, I was happy enough to live without it. My point is, the recipe is "doable" without modern appliances.

You Will Need:

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
5-6 medium carrots (about 3 cups) peeled and shredded
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 small Idaho potato (a floury-type potato) peeled and chopped
3 1/2 cups rich vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust according to the saltiness of your stock)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the oil, then the carrots. Stir to coat. Cook the carrots, stirring frequently until they are partially charred-about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add the shallots and garlic. Cook until the shallots are softened-about 2 minutes. Add the potato and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until carrots and potato are very soft-about 15 minutes.

In a food processor (or a food mill) puree until smooth, then force through a fine mesh sieve (yes, that will be time consuming, so plan accordingly). Return soup to a saucepan and add the cream. Add the red wine vinegar, extra salt, and pepper as desired. Stir in the butter, and serve the soup hot, garnished with parsley.

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