Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day Four: Mom's Zingy Carrot Soup

Hi, everyone. Welcome to Day Four of our week of soups! I'd like to introduce you to a very special chef. Perhaps the special-est chef I know: my mom. (Hi, Mom!) She's been making soup for as long as I can remember. Being the talented cook that she was, her dinner-time creations ranged from the homey and comforting (chicken with dumplings), to the exotic and unusual (spicy african peanut soup), to the just down-right inexplicably delicious (vegetarian green soup).

Today she's bringing us a special creation that's bound to brighten up even the dreariest of winter nights. Let's give a big round of applause for... mom's Carrot Soup with Onion Relish!

Carrot Soup with Onion Relish
The blended spiced carrots are at once sweet, creamy and savory. The fresh lime and herbs in the onion relish brightens it up. In all, this soup is packed with flavor and is nothing but good for you!  I adapted this recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

2 tablespoons butter, olive oil, or a mixture
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 pound carrots, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons white rice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and freshly milled pepper to taste
7 cups water or vegetable stock

Onion Relish:
1/3 cup finely diced white onion
1 serrano chile, finely minced
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
a few leaves of fresh basil, chopped
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, parsley, and rice; cook to soften the onion, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper and cook 5 minutes longer. Add the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, make the relish by mixing all the ingredients together. Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Puree 2 cups of the soup until smooth, then puree the rest, leaving a little texture and flecks of carrot. Taste for salt and serve each bowl with a spoonful of the relish.

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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009