Carrot Ginger Soup for Chanukah...
December 21, 2017
This beautiful orange-hued soup would make a welcome addition to any table, but I especially love it for a holiday menu. The bright, clean flavors work well with the rich food often served at such celebrations. Deceptively simple, the soup itself cooks completely in one pot, and will be ready in 30 minutes. The drizzle is a little more involved, but well worth it for how it changes the flavor of the soup. (It is also delicious with fish or skirt steak!) The original soup recipe by the brilliant Annie Sommerville, included the cilantro and spices, but when trying to please a crowd, these flavors may be best when left separate. The inherent sweetness of the carrots makes a little go a long way here, meaning less work for harried cooks. Serve a small bowl of the soup before your brisket and latkes. A salad with a bracing dressing would be the final complement. Happy Chanukah to all!
Secrets for Success:
Refrigerate, for up to 3 days, or freeze leftover soup.
Soup thickens as it sits. Don’t be afraid to add water to bring it back to the desired consistency.
Thin soup can always be boiled to concentrate flavors and thicken as long as it doesn’t contain milk, cream or eggs.
Serve the drizzle on the side or for a more elegant presentation, swirl a little bit in the center of each bowl and top with a cilantro leaf.
Carrot Ginger Soup with Cilantro Drizzle
Adapted from Annie Sommerville
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock warmed with 8 thin slices of ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, thinly sliced, about 1 ½ cups
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 lbs. carrots, thinly sliced, about 7 cups
1/2 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced, about 1 cup
½ cup fresh orange juice
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute over medium heat until it begins to release its juices, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes, adding a little stock if it sticks to the pan.
Add the carrots, the sweet potato, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 quart stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, using a little extra stock if needed. Return to the pot, add the orange juice, and thin with stock to the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Serves 6-8 generously.
Cilantro or Parsley Lemony Drizzle
Adapted from Epicurious
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4–1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
2 cups (packed) cilantro or Italian parsley leaves with tender stems only
Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a dry small skillet, tossing occasionally, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then purée toasted seeds, garlic, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes, if using, in a blender, until spices are ground and mixture is very smooth.
Add cilantro or parsley; process until well combined but slightly textured.
Makes about 1 cup
Sauce can be made 3 days ahead; chill in an airtight container.