Saturday, November 7, 2009

Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds

My friends came over today for some nerdy delights. (We gather every few weeks to play Dungeons & Dragons.) To welcome them on such a nice fall day, I decided a warm, creamy soup was in order. I settled on a carrot soup with a garnish of scallions and poppy seeds. It was delicious and filling.

     The milk and the heavy cream were such a nice addition. Without them I think the texture of the soup would be a bit too grainy. I love the smoothness added by the fatty goodness of the milk and the cream. I served the soup with some bread and we were full after just one bowl.

Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds

Yield 3-4 quarts


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
1 quart water
2 pounds carrots. Sliced 1/3 inch thick
6 large scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large pot, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and water along with the carrots and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallions and poppy seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the scallions are softened, about 1 minute.

3. Working in batches, puree the carrot soup in a blender until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and milk and simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the scallions and poppy seeds and serve.

     Be careful when blending the hot soup. I suggest only filling the blender to 1/3 capacity. It's very easy to have a hot, carroty mess if you fill the blender too high.

     Also, you may want to give the scallions a rough chop after you slice them. It ensures that they can be easily sprinkled on the soup, otherwise a few may still be attached to one another. (It's hard to completely slice scallions in just one pass.)

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