Silky Smooth Carrot Soup
Phoenicia, a great Mediterranean restaurant in Highland Park, Illinois serves two rocking soups that are dairy free, vegan and kosher. Carrot and Lentil, both silky smooth and rich with flavor so satisfying you’d swear they must be bad for you. We’ve been known to order both, tasting spoonfuls of one then the other trying to decide which we like best.
I found this recipe for puréed carrot soup on day 3 of my Lenten frugality exercise (use up what I have on hand before buying new things to fill my cupboards and freezer), made a few changes to see if I could match the soup from Phoenicia. From start to finish this recipe can be made in 30 minutes. Mara, from What’s for Dinner, gave me several freebies she’d received from More Than Gourmet – Classic French stocks so I tried out the Classic Veggie Stock and thought it was better than most of the canned or aseptic boxed vegetable broths I’ve tried in the past. The soup stands alone, hot or cold, but you can spruce it up with a swirl of sour cream and a sprinkle of dill weed or a few chopped chives for added color.
This classic purée of carrot soup is vibrantly colorful and aromatic. It’s made using the basic procedure for making puréed soups, thickened by the natural starch from the carrots as well as added potato.
- 1 lb fresh carrots
- 1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 quart vegetable broth or stock ( I used More Than Gourmet – Veggie – Stock Gold + 4 cups of water)
- Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
- Peel the carrots, then trim the top and bottom ends. Cut carrots into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick, depending on diameter. Don’t worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly.
- Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the carrots.
- In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the oil over a low-to-medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.
- Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.
- Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don’t let them get mushy, though.
- Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.Tip: Use care when processing hot items in a blender as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.
- Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary.
- Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.
Chop carrots, onions and mash garlic before sautéing in olive oil
After wine has reduced by half, add potatoes and stock cooking for 15 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are cooked by not mushy
Purée until texture is very smooth