The carrots at the farmers market lately have been plump and multi-hued: pale orange, bright red-orange, yellow, purple. They're beautiful to look at, and scrumptious as always. This is a great soup for feeding the vegetarians in your life, for comforting oneself over a lost love (as this recipe has been to me in previous incarnations), or just because it's a rainy, windy fall Portland day and you're pissed that the sun went down at 4 pm and you need something to warm you up and remind you of brighter days to come.
Carrot Ginger Soup with Chile Butter and Peanuts
For the chile butter:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions (white and green parts only), or chives
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (I like to use Aleppo pepper, which is spiiiiiiicy!)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
For the soup:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium-sized onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
5 cups (or more) vegetable broth or chicken broth (I used half of each)
6 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
1.Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat.
2.Add carrots, onion, garlic, and ginger; sprinkle with salt and sauté until vegetables are slightly softened but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
3.Add 5 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
4.Carefully pour the hot soup into your blender and puree until smooth. Remember, when pureeing a hot liquid, always remove the round middle piece and cover with a towel, because blending hot liquid without venting off the steam supposedly can cause the blender to explode (and I don't want to test this to find out if it's true). Just hold the towel and lid firmly on the blender jar and you should be good to go.
5.Return soup to the same pot; if desired, add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
6.Ladle soup into bowls. Top with small spoonful of chile butter; sprinkle with nuts.