Sometime around the end of January I find myself eating a lot of orange food. Not on purpose–it just seems to happen when winter is whitest I eat orange. It usually starts with a case of honeybell oranges my parents send to us from Florida. When they arrive in Massachusetts my family acts as though we’ve been to sea for over a year and all contracted a hideous case of scurvy which only oranges can cure. We pounce on the honeybells and gobble them up. Truth be told it’s more like we inhale them. As my mom says, “They’re liquid sunshine.”
Somehow eating one orange food leads to eating other orange foods. After I’ve snorffled about a gallon of honeybells carrot soup is next on the list. Carrot soup is great because even when the fridge is practically empty the I usually have the basic ingredients for carrot soup on hand. Carrots, onion, chicken stock, and a titch of olive oil or butter. That’s it. You can jazz it up by adding some dill, a potato or curry powder. I’ve made it with double the orange power by combining butternut squash and carrots. You can switch the chicken stock for vegetable stock or if your pantry is really bare you can use water. Instead of onion leeks or shallots work. The possibilities are fairly endless, but usually I stick with plain old carrot soup accompanied by a cheesy buttermilk biscuit.
1 large onion
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 pounds carrots
1 quart chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper, optional
Peel and roughly chop onion. Throw in a large pot with olive oil and saute over low. While that is happening peel and roughly chop the carrots and throw them into the pot. Add the chicken stock, cover and simmer 45 minutes or until carrots are tender. Blend until creamy smooth in a blender or food processor or with an immersion blender. Season if desired with salt and pepper. If your chicken stock was homemade you may not need any seasonings at all.
Fancy Carrot Soup Options
• add 2-3 teaspoons curry powder to the onion when it’s sauteing
• stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of dill to the soup before serving
• substitute butternut squash for half of the carrots
• be wild and throw in a cubed potato
• add a dollop of crème fraiche to each serving