Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creamy Carrot and Potato Soup

Winter=Soup.  Well, that's not quite true.  I'll make soup year round without batting an eye.  But the cold weather does seem to beg for a hot, sustaining bowl of soup.

One of my favorite parts about soup, aside from eating it, of course, is the realiativley simple prep.  After slicing, dicing and a little bit of sauteeing, you walk away to let the conction simmer.  I'm left with anywhere from half an hour to half a day to work, do chores (oh god, the endless dishes....) or more often than not, waste time online.  Whatever did we do before facebook, pinterest and blogger?  Ugh.  No wonder I was far more productive in high school and college...

This soup does not simmer for long, but is the perfect use for the massive quantities of potatoes and carrots we recently received from our CSA...a 45 pound box of storage veggies will go a long way.  I'm eager to try out other veggie combinations using this recipe as a basis.  Parsnips and sweet potatoes?  How about that rutabaga?  Or even those turnips.  Imagine the color of a bit of shredded beet...

The carrots feature in the flavor of the soup, and also help provide a rich golden cream color.  The potatoes cook down a bit to provide a creamy consistency.  The soup is just as wonderful made vegan...use vegetable stock in lieu of chicken stock, omit the milk and cheese, and substitute the Worcestershire for shoyu, miso or any assortment of other herbs to add that earthy funk.  

It's a filling soup without being heavy.  If you care for something richer, switch out the milk for cream and run a bit of the soup through a food processor.  A bit more potato, and a little less broth will also get you closer to a chowder consistency.  For the fall/winter limbo we seem to be in , I found this soup to be the perfect balance of sustaining and light.  Maybe when the snow finally comes, I'll break out the heavy cream...

adapted from MyKitchenAddition

serves 6-8

The Ingredients:
2 Tbsp  olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 lb carrots, peeled and shredded
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

The Process:
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart pot.  Add the onions, garlic and celery and saute until the onions are tender and slightly translucent. 

Add the potatoes, carrots and herbs, and saute 2-3 minutes more.  Stir in the broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Slowly add in the milk and Worcestershire sauce and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Remove the pot for the heat and sprinkle the cheese on top.  Stir until the cheese has melted as is evenly incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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