Sunday, February 3, 2013

Monkeyman's Creamy Carrot Soup

first, "monkeyman" is my husband. it's my love name for him, stemming all the way back to when he was in my brother flight in basic training and my instructor called them "those (bleep) (bleep) stinky (bleeping) monkeys across the hall!" she told us to stay away from them. i have much respect for her, but i married one of those monkeys and he is an incredible husband.
anyway, monkeyman really loves carrots. i mean he eats them in every single lunch, at every holiday, and everytime i run out of ideas for side dishes. he eats them steamed or sauteed or raw. with salsa or peanut butter or almond butter. seriously, it is an intense thing. i don't like them as much. i think they are fine, and i love cooking with them-dicing them up and tossing a big handful or two into most things i cook. pasta sauce, steamed rice, soups, and stews usually are dotted with the pretty orange bits. however, you probably won't find me sneaking pieces of them while i chop them or taking carrots sticks to school. (however, roasted carrots are a different story. now that i think about roasted carrots, i think i'll make some this week.)
monkeyman also love soup, and i have the remainder of a ten pound bag of organic carrots in my fridge. so i simply whipped up a creamy soup for him to snack on and have on hand for the week! now, my soup was not vegan, or dairy/casein free. however, it was vegetarian, paleo (grain free), and gluten free (as everything is around here!) this would be easy to modify to fit any of those requirements, and i'll point out how as the recipe gets going.

monkeyman's creamy carrot soup

a couple pounds of carrots (i grabbed fistfulls from the fridge until my pot was a little more than half full of carrot chunks. it was twenty-one carrots for me.)
~1.5 quarts vegetable broth (enough to cover carrots) (chicken broth would also be good here)
~4 tablespoons butter (or ghee, olive oil, coconut get the idea)
~1 cup half and half
~1/2 cup cream
1 tsp each salt, black pepper, garlic, dried thyme
optional: cumin (i love cumin with carrots!), 1 medium sweet onion or 2-3 shallots

peel all those carrots and chop them up into rough chunks. no need to be precise here. throw them in your pot with your fat of choice over medium high heat and stir them around until they soften a bit and become aromatic.

 if using onions or shallots, add those now and stir them around to soften slightly. go ahead and pour in your broth. simmer until carrots are very soft. pour the half and half into your blender and transfer all the carrots to the blender as well. add enough cooking liquid to cover the carrots and reserve the rest in your pot. blend that sucker up til your soup is nice and smooth and silky. (don't be afraid to do this in more than one batch if your blender can't handle it all at once.)
  transfer your puree back to your pot over low heat, and add your cream and seasonings to taste. if it looks a little thin, reduce for ten or fifteen minutes. if it's a little thick, add a touch more half and half or broth.
note: this soup would be find without the dairy. it'll still be creamy and luscious. we just happen to enjoy it!

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