Friday, October 19, 2012

Creamy Carrot Soup

Here's a quick back story: One of our favorite bedtime stories is a book about three bunnies spending a summer evening playing, eating dinner, having family time, then going to bed. In that story, the bunnies eat carrot stew, radishes and lettuce for supper.Of course, as I post this, I can't find the book to refer to. You should have seen me grasping around the book shelf with only Eli's night light, trying to find this book. The name of it is "Sweet Dreams" and I think it was written by Lisa McClure. I am a firm believer in playing with food, making it fun, having the kids help cook and it turn, hope that I am helping them develop a healthy relationship with food. So... we made dinner tonight from one of our favorite children's books.

I searched for "Carrot Stew Recipes" online and found many. I am so glad I chose this one.
Looks like any combination of suggestions below would make a delicious carrot soup. I might have to try all the combinations throughout the winter.

 Carrot Soup from the 1977 edition of Moosewood Cookbook

2 pounds peeled or scrubbed, chopped carrots
4 cups stock or water (I added Wildtree's Chicken Bullion Soup Base, you could also use their Vegetable Bullion)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium potato, chopped (optional, for heartier soup)
3-4 tablespoons butter (I used Wildtree's Butter Flavored Grapeseed Oil)
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds (I used almonds)

Choose one:
1 cup milk
1 cup yogurt or buttermilk plus a little honey (I used whole-milk Greek Yogurt and about 1 Tablespoon honey)
1/2 pint heavy cream
3/4 cup sour cream

Seasoning choices:
-2 pinches of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, dash of cinnamon (I used these seasonings but used fresh mint from our garden.)
-1 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram and basil
-1 teaspoon grated ginger

Place carrots, liquid and salt (and potato if you are using it) into a medium sized soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer it for 12-15 minutes. Let it cool to room temp.

Saute the onion, garlic and nuts in the butter until the onions are clear. You can sprinkle in a little salt to help draw the moisture out of the onions. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the seasoning combo of your choice.

Puree everything together in a blender until smooth (I deviate from her recipe at this stage. I dump the sauteed onions, garlic and nuts into the pot with the cooked carrots and use an immersion blender to puree. It saves dishes and energy).

Whisk in one of the dairy products. As I mentioned in the beginning, I often leave this step out until I'm just about to eat a bowl of soup. I'll stir in a little milk, a spoonful of yogurt or some cottage cheese just before serving (and just after reheating, if I'm using the microwave).

Garnish with toasted nuts, some toasted bread crumbs or eat just as it is.

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