Carrot & Orange Soup

Photo by Caroline West

You know your soup is good when you’re enjoying it cold from the refrigerator in the Tupperware container you stored it in.  It’s even better served warm.

Carrot soup is pretty tame, some might say boring, until it’s cheered up with freshly grated spicy ginger, freshly squeezed orange juice and acidic tomatoes.  Now, that’s a soup with personality!

If you prefer a silky smooth-textured soup, as I do, pour the finished soup through a fine-mesh strainer.  It’s a simple technique that gives puréed soups a luxurious texture, especially when finished with a bit of cream.

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 tablespoon butter or mild-tasting oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds carrots, about 7 medium, chopped
  • 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes or, if not in season, canned
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, plus zest from half an orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger (a microplane is ideal for this)
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cream

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the onions and cook over low heat until translucent and tender.  Add the carrots, tomatoes, orange juice, ginger and only 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, approx. 30 minutes.

Pour the vegetables and liquid into a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Process until smooth.

Photo by Caroline West

If you prefer a very smooth-textured soup, pour the finished soup through a fine-mesh strainer (pictured), pressing any remaining solids against the strainer with the back of a spoon.

Return the soup to the pot and reheat. Add only enough chicken stock to reach the desired consistency — you may not need it all.  Add the salt and taste the soup — you may need more salt, depending on your chicken stock.

Add the cream, but be careful not to boil the soup once the cream has been added.

Serve in heated bowls with a dollop of sour cream, yogurt or creme fraise, if desired.

Pita Chips

Using a knife or scissors, split open a pita pocket and cut into wedges. Place the wedges onto a baking sheet, and brush the coarse side of each piece with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with a bit of Kosher salt.  Bake at 360 F until golden around the edges.

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