Home­made soup is both giv­ing and for­giv­ing

Gather up spices, veg­eta­bles, meats and more for hot or cold com­fort boost.

Austin American-Statesman - - TV TONIGHT - By sharon K.ghag The Modesto Bee roasted car­rot soup 6 to 8 large car­rots (about 1 3/4 pounds),peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 1/4 cup olive oil salt 6 cups veg­etable stock, or as needed 1-inch-long piece fresh gin­ger, peeled 1 fresh thyme sprig

Soup is uni­ver­sal. Spice it up, tone it down, keep it sim­ple or load it with in­gre­di­ents. The re­sults are the same: Warm or cold, veg­e­tar­ian or with meat, it’s com­fort in a cup.

It’s de­li­cious and nu­tri­tious whether slurped from a cup or sa­vored with a spoon. You could say soup is giv­ing — and for­giv­ing. The newly minted veg­e­tar­ian at one end of the house and the life­long meat eater at the other end can both be happy with­out stress­ing the cook.

Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. On a large rimmed bak­ing sheet, toss the car­rots with 2 ta­ble­spoons of the olive oil and sprin­kle gen­er­ously with salt. Broil the car­rots un­til they brown and soften, turn­ing them over with a spat­ula ev­ery 5 min­utes or so; this should take 15 to 20 min­utes.

Mean­while, bring the stock to a boil. Add the gin­ger and sprig of thyme and sim­mer gen­tly for 15 min­utes.

Just be­fore the car­rots are done, put the onion in a large saucepan with the re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil and brown over medium heat, stir­ring fre­quently. Add the gar­lic and cook for a minute, then add the car­rots.

Re­move the gin­ger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the onions and car­rots. Bring to a boil and sim­mer for 5 to 10 min­utes, un­til the car­rots are very soft. Puree the soup un­til smooth. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and re­heat gen­tly. Add salt and pep­per to taste.

Serve gar­nished with chopped thyme. Serves 4.

Start with a large stock­pot over medium-high heat; add oil. When the oil is hot, add the gar­lic. Once the gar­lic starts to brown slightly, add the diced onions, diced car­rots, diced cel­ery, sliced leeks and diced cab­bage; cook for about 5 min­utes, still over medium-high heat. Add the salt, white pep­per, pep­per flakes, pa­prika, oregano and basil — adding dry sea­son­ings early helps cre­ate lay­ers of fla­vors. Add to­ma­toes, beef base, and water or stock to the pot with the veg­eta­bles; bring en­tire mix­ture to a sim­mer.

Mean­while, if us­ing dry cannellini beans: Cook the cannellini beans in boil­ing, salted water with a bay leaf un­til beans are soft (ap­prox­i­mately 20 min­utes). Once beans are done (or if start­ing with cooked beans), set half aside. Puree the other half. Add the whole, cooked beans and the pureed beans to the soup.

Add the pota­toes. Let the soup con­tinue to boil for 5 min­utes, then add the zuc­chini and chard to the pot. Cook mix­ture for an­other 5 min­utes. Add the shell noo­dles and cook for a fi­nal 5 min­utes. Serves 15; yields ap­prox­i­mately 1 1/2 gal­lons of soup.

To pre­pare the yucca, cut off the ends of the root and make 3 to 4 ver­ti­cal cuts from top to bot­tom with a par­ing knife. Peel the two lay­ers of the veg­etable: the brown skin and the in­ner white layer. Cut the yucca in half length­wise and re­move the cen­ter woody fiber with a par­ing knife. Cut the white flesh into 1-inch chunks.

Trans­fer the yucca to a medium saucepan, cover with fresh cold water by at least an inch, and add a good pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Re­duce the heat to medium and cook un­til ten­der, 15 to 20 min­utes. Drain and rice.

Place the dende oil, onion, pep­pers, scal­lions and cel­ery in a large sauté pan and cook about 3 min­utes.

Add the gar­lic and stir un­til it gets hot. Add the white wine and re­duce by half, 1 to 2 min­utes. Add the shrimp stock and co­conut milk, then bring the mix­ture to a boil.

Re­duce the heat to low and add 1/2 cup of the mashed yucca and the to­mato paste and use a whisk to help dis­solve them both into the sauce. The sauce will start to thicken nat­u­rally; add up to an­other 1/2 cup of the mashed yucca if nec­es­sary. Set aside.

Melt but­ter, and cook shrimp, 1 minute each side. Trans­fer the shrimp to the saucepan. Braise the shrimp stew over very low heat, cov­ered, for 5 min­utes. Gar­nish with the to­ma­toes and cilantro. Serves 6.

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