A simple yet luxurious puree of just sauteed carrots, onions, an apple and some thyme, with the option to use water instead of broth, making this soup a great option for vegetarians.
It was kind of funny to go all the way to beautiful Rancho La Puerta in Mexico with my dear friend Julie a few years ago, only to find myself in a cooking class with visiting chef Samantha Greenwood, a former chef at Chez Panisse – the famous Berkeley restaurant down the street from our house where Alice Waters started her “delicious revolution”. I’m a big fan of the restaurant and their food philosophy to eat seasonal, local, sustainable, and the Art of Simple Food cookbooks are sort of the holy grail if that’s the way you like to cook – simply showcasing the ingredients themselves. The class got to visit the organic farm and pull vegetables right out of the garden with which we cooked dinner that night. Quite literally farm-to-table! This vibrant soup was easy to prepare and as the carrots were sooooo fresh, we did not even use broth – just water – in order to really showcase the taste of the carrots. This method applies to many vegetable inspired soups should the produce you have be of exceptional quality and/or just desire a lighter but still flavorful soup.
Simplest Puréed Carrot Soup
- heavy bottom pot or saucepan
- immersion hand blender or regular blender
- 4 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow or white onion 1 large or 2 small onions
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme 1 set aside for garnish
- 2 1/4 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced one large bunch/about 5 cups
- 1 small apple or pear, peeled and chopped
- 5 cups water or chicken broth, if desired
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- creme fraiche or plain Greek yogurt for garnish
- Melt the butter or heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot or saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add the onion and thyme, and cook until they are soft and translucent but not browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the chopped carrots and apple or pear, and cook another 10 minutes.
- Add water or broth and simmer until everything is fork tender.
- Turn off the burner and wait 5 minutes, then using an immersion blender, puree until smooth and velvety. (If using a regular blender, be sure to blend it in batches and use your hand to hold a towel on top of the blender to be safe, then return to the pot to stir.)
- Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed.
- Garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche or Greek yogurt and a fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.