Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Roasted Carrot Soup with Fresh Ginger

As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari
4 to 6 servings  (I like to serve smaller portions of this soup)  Use vegetable broth to make Vegetarian-friendly. For appetizer: Serve in tiny cups/shot glasses.
This soup reheats well, may be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 to 4 days, you may need to add additional liquid while reheating if soup is too thick.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
1 cup diced onions
Up to 1/4 cup peeled, minced ginger (according to your preference, the more you add the spicier soup will be)
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
1 pound carrots, peeled,cut into large chunks 
4 to 6 cups chicken stock/broth* (may need more: see note at end of recipe)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 bay leaf

Optional add-ins, to be added after pureeing soup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
To make it more spicy: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (or more if you dare) Harissa from the tube

Suggested garnishes to add to soup when serving:
1 Tablespoon of sour cream
Chopped chives
Grated orange zest
roasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
1/2 teaspoon of butter for each serving
toasted chopped nuts of your choice
buttery croutons
a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon

Center rack in oven, preheat to 400ºF
Place peeled carrot chunks on a rimmed baking sheet that is large enough to hold carrots in one layer without crowding. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon olive oil over carrots and toss until they are coated in oil. Place baking sheet in oven and roast until tender, rearranging and rolling the carrots over once or twice during baking so they do not burn, its okay if they char slightly on edges. Timing will vary due to the diameter age, and size of carrot chunks ~ mine usually take between 12 and 20 minutes (pierce with tip of knife to test for doneness.)

Warm large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the 2 Tablespoons butter to pan, when butter melts add onions to the pot. Gently cook until onions are limp, slightly translucent (not crisp or browned), about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and cook for 30 seconds. Place all of the roasted carrots in the pot and add 4 cups of the chicken broth/stock*, salt pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil. When contents of pot reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes or so.

Remove the bay leaf from the pot and either puree the soup in a blender (working in batches if necessary), or using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot. 
(consider adding a little honey to soup when pureeing if your carrots are not sweet.) If using the heavy cream or orange zest, stir in when you are finished blending. Adjust the seasonings.  To serve, add your choice of garnishes, serve hot.

*Start out with 4 cups of stock/broth; may need  more as soup simmers, and while blending to make the consistency you like.)  Can make vegetarian friendly by subbing Vegetable stock/broth for the Chicken stock/broth.