[Mint Carrot Soup]
Have you ever noticed how un-photogenic soup is? Well, now you have! The very things that make soup tasty and comforting, all pureed chunks and blended veggies, make it somewhat messy close up.
In this case, I almost didn't post about the soup because I was unhappy about the picture. But then I decided that the dictatorship of beauty would not rule here, and that my soup very much deserved a post. As with pudding, you know where the proof is!
This is a very easy soup to make on a weeknight, and it's a great use for the slim young carrots which are starting to appear in bunches on produce stalls at this time of year. Carrots and mint are a very subtle and successful pairing, the colors are beautiful, and the overall result is very spring-like.
You can choose to stir in a little honey if you'd like, to bring out the carrots' sweetness, especially if you're using thick winter carrots. If you have young spring carrots however, I suggest you let those ladies sing a cappella.
Soupe de Carotte à la Menthe
- 2 onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 kg carrots
- 5 to 6 C vegetable stock
- 1 to 2 tsp honey (optional)
- 1 Tbsp crème fraîche
- 5 twigs of mint (to make about 20 leaves)
- salt, pepper, olive oil
Peel and chop the onions and garlic. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onions and garlic over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Wash the carrots, peel them, discard the ends, and cut them in half-inch chunks. Rinse the mint under cold water, separate the stems from the leaves, and dry the leaves with a paper towel.
Add the carrots and the mint stems (whole) into the saucepan, and pour stock to just cover the vegetables. Reserve the remaining stock, if any, to adjust the consistency at the end (better that way, than ending up with a soup that's too thin). Bring to a boil, and let simmer, covered, over medium heat for about thirty minutes, until the carrots are soft.
Remove the mint stems from the soup, and purée part or all of the soup with a hand blender (or by transferring the solids into a food processor) until the desired smoothness is reached. If the soup is not liquid enough, add stock or water, stir, and reheat again thoroughly. Stir in the honey if using, and the crème fraîche. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Just before serving, chop the mint leaves, and sprinkle prettily on each bowl of soup.
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