Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spicy Carrot Soup

I know what you are thinking. Soup in the winter?

We are in the dog days of summer, after all. In case you haven't noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven't, we in Chicago are on a hot streak- the 46th day in a row of 80F or higher. And just like the Cubs' bats with RISP, I don't see that streak ending anytime soon.

The soup-in-summer thing is sort of a cry for a change-up, as the dew points and humidity have been quite oppressive for the last week or so.

And of course it's not that I'm tired of eating one of the culinary calendar's highlights, though: the very local, very ugly, very tasty summer tomato- Beats the shit out of winter squash.

Most recipes for carrot soup will say to find the freshest carrots you can possibly obtain. Present should be bright, fresh greens, nice firm, mostly unblemished carrots. A giant box of just that from the CSA share was my source and impetus for this dish. Don't substitute packaged carrots, go for the fresh stuff. They just taste better, as you get to more of the natural sugars before conversion into starch.

Eat your vegetables. Or you don't get dessert.

Spicy Carrot Soup

6-8 servings

2 TB butter


1 large onion, large dice

1.5 lb large carrots, medium dice

3 medium red potatoes, large dice

2 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno (optional)

2 cups chicken stock, homemade preferred

2 cups filtered water

1 cup milk

1 ts salt


Heat your big ass cast-iron dutch oven over medium heat. Add fats, then onion, carrot, potato, celery, and jalapeno (or part of) if using. Cook until somewhat softened, about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic with a couple minutes left.

Add the liquids and S&P, stir well and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are very soft. Zap with a stick blender or process in batches in blender. Strain through a sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. I don't taste for salt at this point, as I like finish with a little sea salt for flavor and texture.

That's simple and tasty. And if you like spicy, it's simple and tasty and spicy.

Spicy Carrot soup with fresh thyme, pink Himalayan sea salt

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