Saturday, 16 February 2008

I'm Dangling Carrots Here

Another soup, I know. But having just finished my diploma in snow blowing, it's no wonder that I was inspired to write about the heartiest of all dishes.

I like purée soups because they are easy, require less prep time than chowders or broths. And once you've got some practice with purée soups, then making them will become second nature. I don't bother with recipes usually, but especially more so with soups because the technique is usually the same: onion, principal ingredient, stock, purée and season.

For purée soups, you can use frozen or fresh (or dried, but, egh). When you can, use fresh. Easier to control the water levels, usually better tasting and it leaves you the option of roasting your principal ingredient. However, sometimes you have to use frozen (ever try making Corn Chowder for Christmas?) and utilize what you have available to you. That is a staple of cooking that is truly learned to deal with as you gain experience.

Some chefs like adding an extra potato or two to help thicken the soup. This is to help reduce food cost and thicken their soup with a cheap vegetable. Well, that is something I might have done when I was going through college along with collecting all my coupons to save 5 bucks.

This recipe was kind of an accident and I probably wouldn't bother keeping record of it because at first glance it is not very unique. But then again, this is exactly the type of soup where I would say, "That's different. I should try and remember that one." And then I'll forget it.

Purée of Carrot Soup With Goat's Cheese (Potage Crecy au Chevre)

20g Unsalted Butter
800g Carrots, chopped
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
700ml Stock (chicken or veg)
200ml Orange Juice (no pulp if possible)
Pinch of Tumeric, Cayenne, Rosemary, Thyme, Clove
A Few Pinches of Dried Ginger (or fresh if you got it)
Salt and White Pepper to taste
40g Goat`s Cheese

In a medium size sauce pan on medium heat, melt a dab of butter and heat until frothy. Add onion and garlic and cook for one minute. Add dried spices and herbs and continue to cook. Add carrots. Add Orange Juice and reduce by half.

Add stock and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add cheese. Purée soup with an immersion blender. Season properly and add stock for desired consistency.

Serves 6.

Variation: You can omit the OJ and use cranberry juice. It's a little bitter but that is easily solved with some sugar. However, the colour is truly unique.

Chef's Tip: If you aren't interested in peeling a whack of carrots then chopping them up, then don't do it. Go ahead and spend the extra 50 cents and buy ready baby carrots. When you're in a hurry, this is a major time saver.

1 comment:

Mary Moreau said...

I now think that I should make carrot soup. I have a whole bag of them in the crisper!