Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

My kitchen smelled like comfort this morning - the beautiful, homey smell of buttered carrots. It reminded me of holidays when I was younger - the scent of warm, simmering goodness wafting upstairs, luring me down from my bedroom. I'm not sure what about the scent made me so nostalgic, really - I can't remember my mom ever making anything like this soup (probably because her picky, stubborn children would have refused to eat it).

I will eat it now, though, and gladly! I originally pulled out this recipe to use up some of the six pounds of carrots I got at my last CSA pickup of the season. Jeff and I thought it was delicious - the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potatoes complement one another beautifully, and the spices are a lovely accent. It's a delicious creamy soup for a chilly day. Hopefully it will be just as lovely a beginning to tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner!

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
From Cooking Light's Way to Cook Vegetarian.

3 tbsp butter, divided
1 c onion, chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb carrot, chopped
3 c vegetable stock
3 1/2 c water
1/4 c half-and-half
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Melt 1 tbsp of butter. Add the onion to the pan and cook 4-5 minutes, until softened and tender.

Add the nutmeg and cinnamon and cook another minute, stirring. Move the onions to one side of the pan and add 2 tbsp butter to the other. Increase the heat to medium-high to melt the butter and let it brown slightly. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, stock and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 35 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

Ladle one-third of the soup mixture into a blender. With the center piece of the lid ajar so as to release some steam, and covering the lid with a dish towel to prevent splashing, puree the soup until smooth. Pour into another vessel, then repeat with the remaining two thirds.

When all the soup is pureed, season with salt and pepper (since I use salt-free homemade stock, I need to add a lot more salt than the recipe calls for). Add half-and-half and stir until well-combined. Serve hot!

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