Food Day Canada was a great day to use produce from my latest CSA food basket from Roots and Shoots Farm. The soup I made incorporated all my orange and white carrots, two of my onions and two of my potatoes. We ate outside under the beautiful night sky with special friends, many a candle lit, the fountain flowing and nary a bug in sight.
CARROT SOUP WITH CORIANDER
2 pounds carrots
3 ounces unsalted butter
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
deep-fried onion greens, match stick width and 2″ in length
Peel the carrots and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces (about 5-6 cups). Peel the potato and cut into small cubes (about 1 1/2 cups).
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When hot, add the onion and sauté while stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté while stirring until beginning to change color, 20-30 seconds.
Add the carrots, potatoes, and fresh coriander and sauté, stirring a couple of times, for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, sugar and salt and, over medium heat bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover partially and continue simmering until vegetables are soft when pierced with the point of a knife, about 20-25 minutes.
Use a food processor with its metal blade attached, or a blender, and process the vegetables in small batches, with their broth, until a smooth purée (soup may be made ahead to this point; cover and refrigerated). We use our Vita-Mix and it always gives a great consistency for soup.
Return the soup to the saucepan. Add the bay leaf, celery salt and cayenne to the soup and let it simmer on a very, very low simmer for 2 or 3 hours to really incorporate the flavours. An hour before serving, add more fresh cilantro, finely chopped. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or you could use milk. Remove the bay leaf.
To plate, put one tablespoon of sherry in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish with homemade croutons (I make mine with a hint of garlic and black pepper for a kick) and deep-fried onion greens. Another way to garnish could be a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of chopped cilantro.