|Carrots are so gaudy.|
I made two different carrot soups this week and didn't start out planning to make any carrot soup at all. Carrot soup isn't high on my list of delicacies or even on it.
1. carrot soup from The Cooking of Provincial France. I'd thawed chicken stock to make asparagus soup from Provincial France, but ultimately couldn't justify spending $14 on asparagus when we had a crisper full of carrots. I switched soups. This soup, whose French name is potage Crecy, calls for cooking sliced carrots and onion in butter, then adding stock, a tiny bit of tomato paste, and rice. Cook until the carrots are soft. Puree and stir in 1/2 cup cream. Smooth, rich, and delicious! There was a time when I would have balked at the cream and that time was the 1980s when people were really down on cream. But a half cup of cream is not a lot of cream and I now think it's smart to put 1/2 cup of cream in a pot of vegetable soup if it means everyone will eat and enjoy vegetable soup. Seems like a net gain for human health. Everyone but Owen, who doesn't like soup, ate and enjoyed this vegetable soup. GRADE: A-
2. carrot and orange soup from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I know! Blast from the past. Next thing you know I'll be getting a perm and cooking chicken Marbella. This soup popped into my head and wouldn't leave, probably because it was the first carrot soup I ever cooked. According to notes in Silver Palate, I made it on May 29th, 1986 and deemed it "a wonderful soup." I remember it seemed sophisticated and edgy to put orange juice in carrot soup. In fact, carrot soup itself seemed sophisticated and edgy back in the day.
|Sour cream helped.|
In my view, a mistake. Carrots are sweet to begin with and orange makes them cloying. This soup is stark and lean, sweet and garish, and I missed the mellowing cream. I would say the Silver Palate recipe reflected the 1980s fear of cream, but there's too much cream elsewhere in the book to make that argument. Mark and Isabel both liked this second carrot soup and seemed disinclined to elaborate or discuss. Odd. What could possibly be more interesting? GRADE: B
I started thinking I should try even more carrot soup recipes and then checked the impulse. Off the top of my head, here are a few things I'd rather make than carrot soup in the next week or two: veal shanks in pickle sauce, spaetzle, trifle, rigo jancsi, cronuts, Black Forest cake, corncob jelly.
On another subject, the bobcat is back. He swiped a chicken today while I was standing in the yard not 30 feet away. Nervy.