Cream of Carrot Soup

I was drawn to this recipe, because it doesn’t try to gild the lily, so to speak. I rather like the way carrots taste, sweet or not. This carrot soup is notably lacking excess sweeteners, and boasts one mere teaspoon of sugar. The result, unless you have very sweet carrots to start with, is a wholesome and comforting soup which is just on the edge of savory. It is simple and basic. It is also elegant and flavorful.

It is a perfect soup for Easter. It’s beauty is enhanced by it’s incredibly easy preparation. If Easter (or any day) is already getting out of hand, consider putting this soup on the menu. I told my kids that it was a bowl of Easter bunny bait. That worked.


Cream of Carrot Soup
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Recipe type: Soup
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 to 6
From the Genesis Women's Shelter Cookbook, Creating Comfort.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chopped onion (about half of a medium onion)
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 white potato, cubed
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 splash of Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¼ cup Half & Half (or up to 1 cup, depending on your preference)
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onions and celery in the butter until tender. Add the carrots, potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Add the Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Discard the bay leaves and process the carrot mixture with an immersion blender. If using a regular blender, do it in several batches.
  3. Add the Half & Half and stir it in completely. Heat the soup until it is at your desired serving temperature. Garnish with croutons, or a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy.

Notes:
Comfort is a word that I like. I am particularly fond of foods that impart a sense of comfort. Warm, creamy soups naturally tend to be comforting. The whole notion of The Meaning of Pie has to do with how foods make you feel, and how they can evoke sensations and emotions of comfort, well-being and home. This recipe by Virginia LaSala is from a wonderful cookbook, named Creating Comfort. If that isn’t right in my wheelhouse, nothing is. What’s more, it is a community cookbook, put out for the 20th anniversary of the Genesis Women’s Shelter, an organization close to my heart. Community cookbooks, Junior League Cookbooks, and church cookbooks pull me in like a good novel. I love the stories, the names, the simplicity, and the tried and true reliability of a recipe shared with friends.


About 6 months ago I was thumbing through Creating Comfort, and happened upon a biscuit recipe by Maya Angelou, a salad recipe by Mary Matalin and James Carville, a cookie recipe from Laura Bush, and recipes by a number of Dallas culinary stand-outs such as Dean Fearing.  I sat on my couch pondering whether or not I knew anyone who could give me a blessing on hijacking one of these recipes. Nothing came to mind. Days passed.

Then, rather out of nowhere, I was invited by the vibrant and fun Lori Whitlow (the woman makes her own yogurt, cottage cheese, and jams, on her ranch in Central Texas…I am in awe) to a charity dinner. Lori, being apparently a magical fairy in addition to a great cook, seated me next to Jan Langbein, the Executive Director of Genesis Women’s Shelter (and several other notable ladies of the Dallas philanthropic scene…my silly self stuck out like a sore thumb as the least useful person at the table). Jan is my new BFF, at least that’s what I’m telling everyone. She is beautiful, intelligent, and exceptionally useful. And she apparently makes killer pies. We talked about lard the whole evening. Love love love. And, she told me I could use any recipe out of the book that I wanted.

And this is the one I chose. There are many others that I have made or will make in due time. Most have a sweet quote or an anecdote from the contributor about the genesis, so to speak, of the recipe…a grandmother, a friend, a beloved aunt. I think there are but a few of these cookbooks left. I assume that everyone in Dallas already has one, but if you don’t, you should get one. And if you are not from Dallas, it is worth buying because it has the recipe for the Greek Omelet from John’s Cafe, one of the best omelets on the face of the Earth.

I think this soup would be particularly good with Sage and Garlic Rubbed Pork Loin, and perhaps with Coconut Cookies or Lemonade Cupcakes for dessert. Yes, that would be just right.

Comments

  1. says

    Kelly
    Genesis Women’s Shelter is SOOO proud of Creating Comfort (the book….AND what happens at Genesis everyday!). What better place to talk about safety and comfort for others than in our kitchens and around our dinner tables. This soup IS great (and I don’t even like vegetables) but the BEST part of CC (which is available on http://www.genesisshelter.org) is the fact that 100% of proceeds from the sale of each book supports the moms and children of Genesis. Kelly, THANKS FOR SERVING UP SAFETY AND SHELTER TODAY.

  2. says

    Wow, I just discovered this site at the suggestion of Carol Gunn! Today is my birthday, and these three posts are CURRENT — today! I can’t wait to get the ingredients together tomorrow when I prepare our Easter dinner and tell my nephews it is rabbit bait soup. They will eat it for sure! And I also can’t wait to explore this site more, learn more about the Genesis Shelter and meet some of the people involved in it since I have been involved in getting a women’s shelter built in Wichita Falls. Happy Easter, everyone!

  3. Kelly says

    Johnelle, I am so very glad you visited PIE. I know precisely who you are and I commend you for your work with the Faith Refuge. My mother has told me about your prison ministry, as well. Welcome, and Happy Birthday!! We are all very lucky to have you and Jan looking out for us. And, there is no doubt that you are looking out for all of us, whether or not we are in dire straits today.

  4. ccg says

    In honor of all of the “really useful women” I know, and especially Jan and Johnelle, I will send small checks today to Faith Refuge, P.O. Box 965, Wichita Falls, TX 76307-0965 [www.faithrefugewf.org] and Genesis Women’s Shelter, 4411 Lemmon Avenue, Suite 201, Dallas, TX 75219-2389 [www.genesisshelter.org]. And tomorrow, I will make Cream of Carrot Soup. Thanks for making it easy, Kelly.

  5. Johnelle says

    Oh, my goodness, I did not know all these follow-up comments had been here all this time and I did not respond to them — so sorry! We are drawing to the close of our fundraising for Faith Refuge, thanks to the many wonderful donors who have stepped up. I made the great artichoke squares recently and they were sooooo good. Thanks, Kelly, for sharing your wonderful recipes with us!

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