While waiting for SJG to help our aged friend Marion through the checkout line at the supermarket the other day, I idly picked up the store’s glossy food magazine, which focused in that particular edition on summer cooking. In it, I found a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe for curried carrot soup. The name doesn’t have much romance, so I prefer the Frenchified “carrot velouté,” which, even if you don’t speak a word of French, sounds like the velvety smoothness that any cream soup offers.
The soup takes less than an hour to make and is beautiful when served. Pair it with a cold couscous salad and a piece of pocket bread for a light yet filling summer meal.
• 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
• 3 cups veggie or chicken broth
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 2-4 cloves garlic, paper removed and chopped
• 1-2 teaspoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger
• 1 teaspoon curry powder (use the mildest, sweetest variety you can find so
as not to overwhelm the carrot flavor)
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup milk (or 2 cups for a milkier, milder, thinner soup)
• ½ cup plain yogurt (I like thick Greek-style yogurt, and you can use way
more than ½ cup, depending on your tastes)
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1) In a large saucepan, combine the carrots, broth, onion, garlic, ginger,
curry powder, cumin, and salt.
2) Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low to medium heat about 15-20
minutes, until the carrots are soft.
3) Using a ladle, transfer the soup (solids and liquids) into a blender. Puree
a little bit at a time until very smooth. (Don’t use a food processor for
this. It won’t puree the soup to the desired smoothness.)
4) For a hot soup, transfer the pureed velouté to the original saucepan and
stir in the milk and yogurt. Heat slowly, to avoid curdling the yogurt.
5) For a cold soup, transfer the pureed velouté into a bowl and stir in the
milk and yogurt. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.
*To serve, choose bowls in a contrasting color (green or yellow are lovely). For extra panache, serve the velouté in low-ball glasses. Either way, top each serving with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.