Fall will officially be here on Saturday, but the scents and senses of fall have been in the air for a couple of weeks now. I always find myself longing to make a big pot of soup as soon as I feel the change in seasons start to occur, and one of my favorites is carrot soup.
I first had a bowl of carrot soup at Shay and Erin’s Fall Back party in October 2002, their yearly party to welcome the change in time. Erin had followed the recipe in the original Moosewood cook book, that included some chopped almonds, toasted in a pan with butter. I was so taken with that soup that I tracked down a copy of that out-of-print Moosewood. I made it according to the recipe for awhile, but despite my extensive cook book and recipe collection, I find that I don’t like to follow recipes.
This is my own, very easy version of carrot soup. I make it any time I know I’m going to have a busy week, because it’s quick, easy, tastes good and doesn’t go bad quickly.
Here’s what you need:
a couple of cloves of garlic
carrots (anywhere from 3-5 pounds, I often make this soup using up carrots that have been in my fridge for many moons)
1 box of chicken or veg stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil (approximately)
1 tablespoon of butter (approximately)
Put the olive oil and butter into a big soup pot and let melt together. Chop up the onion and garlic and throw that it, stirring occasionally. Chunk up the carrots (this can be a very rough chunk, the only thing to remember is that the smaller you cut them the quicker they’ll cook) and throw them in. Let everything saute together for a minute or two and then pour in the box of stock. At this point, I’ll put in a little salt and pepper, some nutmeg and some cinnamon. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll throw some curry powder in at the end, or I’ll leave it out. Let it all cook until the carrots are soft, and then blend. I do it with a immersion blender, but you can do it in a food processor or blender as well.
You can also mix it up and get one of the bags of precut butternut or hubbard squash at Trader Joe’s and substitute it for half of the carrots. Or you can use beets (carrots and beets together look awfully cool). Putting in some roasted red peppers before blending is also a nice touch.
I eat it topped with a big spoonful of yogurt, which gives it a nice creaminess, and can also cool it down if you’ve gone a little heavy with the curry powder. It is good, quick and healthy.