Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Before the Frost: Roasted Carrot Soup

Well, it's done.  I've preregistered for my maternity stay at the hospital.  They've been trying to get me to do this since I showed up at my OB/GYN for my first prenatal visit, but I've been slow to act, knowing that preregistering might not exactly be a good idea.  Or at least that it might be premature.  But now it matters for things like figure out whether we're going to take refresher Lamaze or the full length Hypnobirthing class.  Hard to believe that would happen so soon, but the snowy days of January are really not all that far away.  Still, it feels a little audacious (despite the fact that the Bean is doing the backstroke in there right now ... must be the cupcakes I just made ... more about those later, though).

And it's pretty hard to conjure up January when the days here lately have been warm, even swampy.  My friends in California have been posting Facebook statuses with temperatures in the 100s; while it's not been that bad here, late September shouldn't be in the 80s, should it?  Apparently it doesn't count as Indian Summer unless we've had a frost, though.

We've still been harvesting a few things from our garden; every once in a while I go pick a few beans, and the stubborn plum tomatoes are just now finally ripening, one at a time.  I'm even still getting zucchinis from my squash-bore-resistant little plants, and the other day I roasted the few pint-sized butternut squash that survived the untimely death of their vines.  We also pulled up the carrots (there were actually about twice as many as there are in this picture), figuring that we'd probably be getting some from the CSA at some point and better to use them before we got sick of carrots.  While Ian does like carrots in his lunchbox (I give thanks daily for a child who eats vegetables), he can only make so much of a dent in the crop.  And of course, the easiest way to use any vast quantity of vegetable seems to be to turn it into soup.

The secret here is to let the carrots caramelize a bit, allowing their natural sugars to figure prominently in the flavor of the soup.  If you prefer your soup to be a bit creamier, you can even add a splash of milk or soymilk or ... dare I say it ... cream ... to the finished product.  I didn't find that it curdled, despite the lime juice, but you could always skip that if you prefer a sweeter soup.  Whatever you do, you'll want a crusty loaf of bread to go with it, that you can use to sop up all of that extra soup that sticks to the sides of your bowl.

Roasted Carrot Soup

4  t. butter, melted
1/2  t. black pepper, divided
2  lb. carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
Cooking spray
1 1/2  c. water
2  t. chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1  t. butter
1/2  t. ground cumin
1 1/2  T. honey
1  T. fresh lime juice (optional)
2  (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine 4 teaspoons melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and carrots in a jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until tender, stirring every 10 minutes.

Place the carrot mixture, water, and oregano in a food processor, and process until smooth.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ground cumin, and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add pureed carrot mixture, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, honey, juice, and broth, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
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  1. One of my new favorite soup recipes last year was roasted corn soup so I am looking forward to trying this one. I bet it will be just as wonderful. Thanks!

  2. This is basically how I make carrot soup, but I just 'wing it' (as I do with most cooking!). For a change of flavour sometimes I add coriander, chilli, and sometimes coconut milk.

  3. WOW -- yes I guess January isn't that far off at all! How exciting!

  4. Ooooohh that sounds delicious. We have loads of carrots to use at the moment, so guess what is going to happen to them! I am going to try this. :)

  5. How exciting.... aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh... counting down to January.


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