NGUYEN’S CARROT SOUP
It’s the dawn of 2012 and both Richard and I are trying to regroup after we crashed and burned the day after Christmas. It’s a good thing we had a selection of comfy flannel pjs and flannel sheets as we recovered from whatever ailed us.
But, a diet of white toast, white rice, and plain white spaghetti with cans of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup to "go with" only encouraged visions of real food to float in my head like sugar plums… so much so my that New Year’s Eve opinion piece for The Patch was all about The Holiday Binge. Food, glorious food!
But that’s not all… memories of warm, sumptuous, delicious, creamy carrot soup also danced around in my head… specifically my sister-in-law, Nguyen’s, carrot soup. Well, it’s not really “Nguyen’s” carrot soup, though she did tweak it here and there, but the carrot soup from the 1977 edition of Moosewood Cookbook.
It was so good, I thought I’d share.
Happy New Year everyone!!! May you all have a wonderful food, wine, and travelicious 2012!!
1977 Moosewood Cookbook
2 lbs peeled or scrubbed, chopped carrots
4 cups stock or water
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium potato, chopped (optional, for heartier soup)
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds
1 cup milk
1 cup yogurt or buttermilk plus a little honey
½ pint heavy cream
¾ cup sour cream
2 pinches of nutmeg, ½ teaspoon dried mint, dash of cinnamon
1 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram and basil
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Place carrots, liquid and salt (and potato if you’re using it) into a medium sized soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Let it cool to room temp.
Sautee 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. You can deviate from the recipe at this stage and dump the sautéed onions, garlic and nuts into the pot w/ the cooked carrots and use an immersion blender to puree. It saves on dishes and energy.
Whisk in the dairy product of your choosing. If you want, you can leave this step out until you’re just about to eat a bowl of soup. Stir in a little milk, a spoonful of yogurt or some cottage cheese just before serving.
Garnish w/ toasted nuts, some toasted bread crumbs or eat just as it is.