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Creamy Carrot Soup With Caramelized Carrots

makes 6 (first-course) servings

This soup has a lovely smooth texture, thanks to the addition of a potato. In fact, you would swear it has cream, but it contains not a drop.



ingredients

For the soup:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins (about 3 cups)
3 small to medium leeks, trimmed and thoroughly washed, white and light green parts cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
6 to 7 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth, or best-quality fat-free, low-sodium commercial chicken or vegetable broth

For the caramelized carrot garnish:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon finely shredded (chiffonade) fresh sage leaves
1 scant tablespoon sugar

timer

prep: 20 minutes
total: 1 hour

tools

Dutch oven (with lid)
blender or immersion blender
medium-size skillet or sauté pan

instructions

To make the soup:

1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, warm the butter and oil over medium heat until the butter is melted.

2. Add the carrots and leeks. Sauté the vegetables for about 10 minutes, or until they have begun to soften.

3. Add the potato, sage, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in 6 cups of the broth. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender.

5. Remove from the heat and let the soup cool for 10 minutes. Purée the soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, or in the pot using an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat on medium-low until heated through.

To make the caramelized carrots:

1. Heat the butter and oil in a medium-size skillet or sauté pan placed over medium heat.

2. When the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, stir in the diced carrots and shredded sage. Raise the heat to medium-high and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the carrots are tender and lightly browned.

3. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook briefly to allow the sugar to caramelize. Season with a little salt and pepper and remove from the heat. To serve, ladle equal portions of soup into six bowls. Garnish each serving with a spoonful of the caramelized carrots and serve immediately.

Variation:

To make the soup with rice, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and stir in 1 cup fragrant long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook the rice without stirring for 17 to 20 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender but not mushy. Stir the cooked rice into the finished soup and garnish with caramelized carrots.



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