Soup and salad, a classic combination. It’s a great meal to prepare for a casual day at home or can be made a little more upscale for a luncheon. I made this soup to go with the Caprese Panini I posted last month.
Carrots are one healthy vegetable. They are great for your eyes, for lowering cholesterol, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Cooking the carrots and adding a bit of fat, like olive oil, helps your body absorb more of the beta-carotene found in carrots.
Along with the great health benefits, I also like carrots because they are easy to throw in a bag lunch, they are inexpensive, and they last a while in the fridge. I tend to just think of eating carrots raw, or using them in a mirepoix, but they are so tasty and naturally sweet when roasted or steamed that they should be the star of the menu instead of the supporting role.
Carrots are also quite the versatile root vegetable. They are great sautéed, steamed, roasted, or even pureed. They are a great way to add sweetness to a dish or sauce without adding sugar, and they are low on the glycemic index. In this recipe, I sautéed the carrots, along with onion and celery, and then pureed the mixture to create a velvety soup. For the seasoning, I stuck with classic French flavors, using rosemary and thyme. However, you can use the base of this recipe as a starting point and experiment with other seasonings to take the soup in many different directions. Try adding cumin, turmeric, and paprika for a curry flavor.
Carrot Soup – 4 Servings
1 onion, chopped
8 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Heat two tablespoon of olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, herbs, red pepper flakes (if desired), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for seven to ten minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions soften and become translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about 30 seconds.
Stir in about a cup of the chicken stock, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to release any of the cooked-on brown bits. Add in the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
To blend the soup, either use an immersion blender, or transfer the soup in batches into a blender jar. Begin on a low speed and then gradually increase to high. Blend until the soup is smooth. Continue until all the vegetable mixture is blended.
If the soup is too thick, add more stock until you reach the desired consistency. Add the red wine vinegar and honey, if desired. Taste for seasoning. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread or a sandwich.