It was a rainy Friday night and my better half and I had agreed (thank the lord!) to stay home for a home cooked, Shabbat dinner. Since I like to get a little fancier on the sabbath, I couldn’t just serve the usual one course weeknight meal. I had some beef cheeks braising for the main course but was a bit worried as in my early morning haze, I emptied a very random melange of ingredients into the slow cooker. Somehow the combination of Pom juice and jalapenos sounded acceptable as I rushed to get dinner started before work.
I needed a quick dish to start the meal off right, and possibly be our entire meal! Thanks to our local CSA, I had about 8 lbs of winter storage carrots in my fridge! Enter this carrot soup from food52. While there are multiple steps involved, the whole endeavor only takes about an hour or less! I substituted homemade chicken stock and the flavors were unbelievable. I made sure to water down the soup after I blended so my husband wouldn’t think I was serving him baby food. If you have a few carrots or any other hearty vegetable lying around (i.e. squash, cauliflower) and a blender, this recipe which includes roasting, sauteing and simmering really builds flavor for a memorable and tasty soup. Regarding the beef cheeks, lets just say the flavors were a bit too complex!
Roasted Carrot Soup
6 to 8 large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock (good quality, not too high in sodium)
1 piece ginger, an inch long, peeled
1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
1/2 large sweet onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. Broil the carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a spatula every 5 minutes or so; this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil, add the ginger and the sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Put the onion in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Brown the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and then add the carrots.
Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
Use an immersion or a standard blender to puree the mixture until smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with chopped fresh thyme