Sunday, September 29, 2013
Carrot Soup with Greens
The leaves are beginning to blush, there’s a chill in the air and we’re closing our windows at night. Summer has waved good-bye. Normally, I wish for summer to linger on a bit, but after the glorious sunny months we just enjoyed I am happy to welcome fall. The changing seasons have brought changes for our family, too.
This past week was filled with emotion and excitement. We took our son, Sam, to University of Oregon where he is starting his freshman year. Let me just say, the process of letting go is not easy, yet I know Sam is ready for this new chapter. I’m missing him like crazy and at the same time know he’s in for so much fun and learning. I’ve loved every phase of parenting and this new stage holds many yet-to-be-discovered joys.
Still, comfort food was in order and a warm, simple bowl of soup felt right. I’m starting to stock our freezer with jars of soup for the cold nights ahead here in the valley. At the market, carrots are still available and when I grabbed a couple of bunches recently I had soup ideas dancing around in my mind. Some baby greens also snuck into my bag, so with these ingredients in tow I headed home to make soup.
Soon I had a pot of carrots simmering away in chicken broth with onions and red chiles. After a quick puree, I added a splash of lime juice, some fresh basil and a mix of baby kale, chard and bok choy. The greens wilted quickly and I ladled the finished soup into bowls. I swirled a dollop of coconut cream into each bowl, its creaminess balancing the spicy kick of chiles nicely.
Snuggled up by the fire with autumn unfolding all around, I sip my soup and hear about Sam’s new life in Oregon. It’s all good.
Carrot Soup with Greens
Makes just over 2 quarts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 1/2 pounds carrots, washed and cut into 1/2 inch slices (I don’t bother to peel them)
3 small red chiles, minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
8 ounces greens, such as a mix of baby kale, chard and bok choy, chopped if leaves are large
Coconut cream to dollop (optional)
In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown, stirring a few times. Add the carrots, chiles, stock and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until the carrots are soft. Remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. Return the pot to the heat and add the lime juice, basil and greens. Cook over medium high heat for about 2 minutes, just until the greens are wilted. Serve hot with a dollop of coconut cream.
The soup can be made ahead of time through the blending step. At that point, cool and then chill the soup. When close to serving, reheat the soup and proceed with adding the lime juice, basil and greens.