Monday, January 4, 2010

On the Brighter Side

Day 4:

After the heaviness of yesterday's chicken and dumplings we were both craving something light and full of bright vegetables. We thought instantly of carrot soup. There are a myriad of carrot soups out there - I will surely be experimenting with many of them over the next few months. Today, I decided to follow Deborah Madison's (of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) advice and combine the sweetness of carrot with some spice. She also recommends adding a small amount of white rice to the soup to add body and prevent the soup from separating. I did this and it did in fact keep the soup from separating in the bowl, but it also added an almost fluffy consistency to my pureed soup. I combined a few recipes to come up with this south-of-the-border inspired carrot soup. I served with simple corn quesadillas. Overall it was a very easy and quick soup to prepare, but not my favorite so far:

Spicy Carrot and Red Pepper Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp sweet paprika
a pinch of cayenne
2 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp white rice
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lime
good quality pepper sauce such as cholula (optional)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil till onions are soft. Add spices, bay leaves, and rice and cook two or three minutes more. Add chopped vegetables and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are very soft and rice is cooked. Using an immersion blender or food processor blend the soup and add lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a garnish of cholula or tabasco if a spicier soup is desired.

Jay's review:

3.5 yums (out of 5)! Cholula made this a winner. :) 3.0 yums without Guadalajara Goodness.