I quite often go into making dinner without a plan. Sometimes the results are “meh” and sometimes they’re “I’d make that again with a few adjustments” and every now and then they end up “I need to write this down while I remember what I did!” This is one of those latter times.
It was a cool day. Perfect for soup. I’m not sure exactly why I thought of carrot soup, but the thought stuck with me all day. I took a trip to the store, grabbed a few things that I knew I could use (and some impulse buys for a “rainy day”) and headed home. Time to make the soup.
In general, I find soup pretty easy to make. The longer is simmers, the longer the flavors have to play together and the better your soup will end up in the end. Blended soups are even easier since you can cut everything any which way and once it’s all cooked, just puree the heck out of it in a blender and you’ve got soup. And on a cold, windy night, there is nothing more comforting.
Apple Cider Braised Carrot Soup
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Chunks of carrot and apple braised in apple cider and the pureed to smooth perfection for a light and warming soup.
In a heavy bottomed pan with a lid (I used a cast iron dutch oven), heat the oil over medium high heat until it's shimmering. Add in the onion, shallot and smashed garlic. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Stir to bathe everybody in the hot oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions get very soft and begin to brown. Add in the minced ginger and stir 1 minute until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
Add in the carrot, fennel, potato and apple. Stir to mix everything up. Add in the apple cider. Turn off the stove and clamp a lid on. Put the covered pot into the preheated oven for 45–55 minutes, until the carrots are nice and tender.
Remove pot from the oven and carefully remove lid, watch out for escaping steam. In small batches, puree the braised vegetables and liquid from the pot in your blender. Pour into a bowl until your pot is empty. Then put all the pureed contents back into the pot.
Whisk in about 2 1/2 cups of hot stock. If it still seems too thick, keep adding in stock until you get the consistency you'd like (it took me about 3 cups). If you add too much liquid in, it will be watery and it will be harder to fix (you'd have to puree more vegetables or add in a thickener…like cornstarch).
Heat the pureed soup over medium heat. When it begins to bubble, whisk in the butter, cider vinegar, paprika, cumin and curry powder. Once the butter has melted, taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
To serve, garnish with toasted pecans, sliced scallions and a drizzle of olive oil. You could also thinly slice some apple on top. Or do absolutely nothing and just serve it with a chunk of bread.