Charred Carrot Soup
- SERVINGS: 4
Charring shredded carrots in a cast-iron skillet caramelizes the vegetable's natural sugars and adds a deep, rich, nutty flavor to the soup. This slight sweetness is brought back into balance by a small amount of red wine vinegar added at the end.
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 to 6 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (about 3 cups)
- 2 shallots coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 small Idaho potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 1/2 cups rich chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or chives
- Preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, Add the oil, then the carrots. Stir to coat the carrots with oil and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are partially charred, about 15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to moderate and add the shallots, garlic and thyme. Cook until the shallots are softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the potato and stock. Simmer over low heat until the carrots and potato are very soft, about 15 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the soup until smooth. (For an extra silky texture, press the puree through a fine sieve after pureeing.)
- Transfer the soup to a saucepan and add the cream (use extra chicken stock or water for a thinner consistency it desired). Add the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in the butter and serve hot, sprinkled with the chopped parsley.