Roasted carrot soup

September 7, 2010 at 10:10 am (B plus, Cook's Illustrated, Root vegetables, soup, Vegetable dishes)


I bought a bunch of carrots to make carrot halvah, but then Derek never got around to making it, so I decided to make carrot soup.  I found this recipe for roasted carrot soup in Cook’s Illustrated “Best Light Recipe”.  It calls for half chicken broth but I used all veg. broth.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 medium), peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 medium onion , halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt (or more if your veg. broth is unsalted)
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cups half-and-half
Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the carrots, onion, 1 teaspoon of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a rimmed baking sheet and then spread in an even layer. Roast until the vegetables are well browned and softened, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large saucepan. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, cover, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the carrots soften further, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and bay leaf; cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the soup is flavorful, about 5 minutes.
  3. Puree the mixture in a blender (or food processor) until smooth, and return to a clean saucepan. Add the half-and-half and warm over low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.)

My notes

This recipe is supposed to serve 4 but I wanted to serve 6 so I made 1.5 recipes.  My carrots were maybe a bit crowded on the cookie sheet, and as a result perhaps they steamed a bit more than they should have, but they still got a bit caramelized.

I don’t like peeling carrots.  It seems wasteful, and a bad idea nutritionally. Peter Berley says that the peels of old carrots are very bitter.  Anyone know if this is true?  Could I have left my carrots unpeeled?  I wouldn’t mind a bit of bitterness in the soup.  It already had a bit of bitterness from my homemade vegetable broth (the onion skins maybe?).

I used my stick blender to puree the soup.  I’m sure it would have gotten silkier smooth if I had pureed it in a real blender, but the stick blender worked well enough.  In my 1.5x recipe I used 1/4 cup cream and 1/2 cup lowfat milk.  I’m sure it would have been good with more cream, but it was rich enough for me.  I found the flavor a bit boring though.  There was the bitterness from the vegetable broth and a bit of sweetness from the carrots and onions, but I thought the soup needed more of both, plus something hot/spicy, and some sourness.  I added a little turmeric and cumin for earthy bitterness, and a lot of Aleppo pepper and some cayenne for heat. For sweetness I added a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon.  When I served the soup I drizzled in some balsamic vinegar, which added the necessary sour element.  In the end everyone seemed quite happy with the soup.  It served 6 perfectly.

Derek liked the soup, but he thought it needed a lot more balsamic vinegar than I added, and when he added all that vinegar it turned the soup an unappealing brown color. He thought it needed some work. Maybe I could have added white balsamic vinegar?

Rating: B
Derek: B

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4 Comments

  1. austingardner said,

    I looked at your recipe before reading your comments and thought, “looks a little boring.”

    When I eat carrots right out of my garden the peel is sweet, but grocery store carrots seem to me to have bitter skins so I peel them.

    I made a new dal today that had urad dal, moong dal and toor dal in it. It was called Swadisht Dal, which translates to mixed dal. Beside leaving out the hot peppers(which I missed), it was quite good. i bet it will even be better tomorrow.

  2. Jenn said,

    Oooh, you inspired me! I just made a delicious soup after reading your post. It’s winter here in Argentina, and anything warm and liquidy is pure heaven.

    Regarding the carrots, I would taste them. Sometimes the outsides are bitter, sometimes they’re not. Also, I’ve heard that you should peel conventionally-grown carrots, as the peel harbors a lot of the pesticides and chemical residue. Organic carrots should be wonderful, if you don’t notice any off taste.

    • captious said,

      Thanks Jenn for your thoughts on carrot peels. Glad the post inspired you!

  3. Popular Blogs said,

    I’ve been looking for a cool carrot recipe, thanks!

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