Last week, it was the abundance of tomatoes from my tomato plants. This week I pulled up about 2 lbs of carrots from our back patio garden boxes and again the question was…what to do with them all?! The answer I came up with was: a pureed, chilled carrot soup.
Event though it’s an easy process, I find making a cold soup is more challenging than a hot soup. Since I’m not developing flavors by reduction or simmering with herbs and vegetables (though nothing says you can’t) I need to be a little more creative.
One way to get more carrot flavor into the soup is to use the carrot greens. Tasting them I found they taste…just like carrots. I know, a real revelation there! Using the greens for flavor development is exactly the type of technique needed for a cold summer soup. Not only that, but the greens add little bits of color to the orange. A nice contrast.
Ginger is a no-brainer for pairing with carrots and one which I think is best for summer. All of the other spices you can think of which go with carrots, like allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, are more fall and winter spices. A little heavy for summer. Ginger and lemon zest are light and bright and they work really well with cold ingredients. I will warn you though, take a light touch with the ginger. It’s a very fine line from nicely balanced to over-gingered. If you happen to cross that line, stir in some maple syrup or brown sugar to counterbalance the ginger’s warmth with sweetness.
The soup turned out really flavorful (and ahem…gingery) and of course would also be a good, warm pureed soup in the fall or winter. Although you may have to search a little more finding carrots with greens as they may not be abundant like they are now.
Carrot Soup (makes 6 servings)
- 5-6 C diced carrots
- 6 C water
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8-10 scallions, chopped
- 1 Tbs butter
- Carrot greens from 5 carrots, chopped
- Zest from 1-2 lemons
In a large pot on the stovetop, bring 6 C of salted water to a boil. Add carrot pieces and cook until tender.
While the carrots are cooking sauté the scallions and garlic in butter, until soft. Set aside.
When cooked, drain carrots reserving cooking liquid. If using one of those awesome stick blenders put the carrots back into the pot, add the sautéed scallions and garlic, and puree while adding the cooking liquid back in one cup at a time. About 4 C should make it soupy enough but you can add more (or less) if you like. If not using a stick blender puree carrots and scallions in blender/food processor adding water the same way.
Add the carrot greens and puree them in.
Stir in the ginger, lemon zest, and salt to taste.
Chill and serve!