CARROT SOUP

2 lbs. carrots, peeled or scrubbed, and chopped
4 cups stock or water
1½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds
¼ cup butter
Optional: 1 medium potato chopped (for heartier soup)

Bring carrots, stock or water, salt (and potato if desired) to a boil. Cover and simmer 12-15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Sauté the onion, garlic and nuts in 3-4 Tbsp. Butter and with a little salt, until onions are clear. Purée everything together in a blender, until it is smooth. Return the purée to a kettle or double boiler and whisk in ONE of the following: 1 cup milk, 1 cup yogurt or buttermilk plus a little honey, ½ pint heavy cream, ¾ cup sour cream. Season with ONE of the following combinations:

2 pinches nutmeg, ½ tsp. dried mint, dash of cinnamon
½ to 1 tsp. thyme, marjoram, and basil
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger root, sautéed in butter plus a dash of sherry before serving.

Garnish with grated apple or toasted nuts or sour cream.

(from Moosewood Cookbook)

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