Carrot Ginger Soup
Carrot Ginger Soup is a triumph of perseverance for me. You see, I rather pride myself on my soups. I love to dazzle family and dinner guests alike with my concoctions. So when Carol came home raving about a carrot ginger soup she had at some restaurant that neither of us now remembers, my first thought was: I can do that.
It didn’t quite work out that way. Half a dozen tries later and I still wasn’t happy with any of my attempts. So I decided to go back to square one and rather than try to duplicate a recipe that I hadn’t tasted (though Carol has an amazing ability to remember flavors), I figured the next batch would be made the way I would like it to be.
After a few more tries, I finally arrived at this recipe, which has a creamy texture and plenty of full-bodied carrot flavor, but with a zing of ginger and a little sweetness that really suits the carrots.
What made the difference was the decision to char the onion and ginger root before adding to the soup. I can’t describe what it does, exactly, but it certainly brings up the ginger flavor, for one thing. Beyond that, it simply makes the soup taste “finished,” for lack of a better word.
One note: This soup will keep for several days refrigerated and almost indefinitely when frozen before the egg yolk and cream are added. Once the egg and cream are there, it doesn’t freeze as well and will keep only 2-3 days refrigerated.
1 4-6 inch piece of ginger root, sliced in half, lengthwise
1 large onion, quartered
Olive oil for brushing ginger and onions
6 Tbsp. butter
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (homemade or purchased)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 cup brown sugar
Juice of half a lemon
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425F
Place the ginger root, cut side up, and the onion quarters on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Brush olive oil on the pieces and place in the hot oven until the onions and ginger are slightly charred.
While the ginger and onion are getting charred, heat the butter in a stock pot and add the carrots to the hot butter.
Cook the carrots for 10 minutes and then add the flour, stirring well to coat all the carrots and cook for another five minutes or so.
Add the stock a cup at a time, stirring well between additions.
When the carrots are well covered with stock, add in the charred ginger and onion, thyme, cardamom and brown sugar along with the lemon juice.
Simmer this mixture for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are very tender.
Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 30 minutes.
Remove ginger pieces.
Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.
If you're not planning to serve the soup right away, refrigerate or freeze it at this point.
To finish the soup, warm up the puree to serving temperature and beat the egg yolks and cream together with a wire whisk.
Add hot soup to the egg/cream mixture a quarter cup at a time, until you have about two cups of soup added to the cream.
Pour this mixture back into the stock pot and simmer (do not boil) for about 10 minutes.
Garnish with some chopped chives and serve immediately.