Carrot Ginger Soup
Serves 8 to 10
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 carrots, peeled and roughly diced
½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly diced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, rinsed and diced
1 fennel bulb, diced, fronds reserved
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped Salt and pepper, to taste 4½ cups chicken or vegetable stock 1 bay leaf Optional garnishes: ¼ cup crème fraiche, fennel fronds and 2 ounces pancetta or bacon, cooked until crisp
In a large, heavy-bottomed 6-quart soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, warm2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil. When the butter has melted, add the carrots, ginger, leek, fennel, onion and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper and sauté for about 7 minutes, or un- til the vegetables are softened but not browned.
Add the stock, which should cover the vegetables by about an inch. Add the bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked through. Let mixture cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf.
Add the final tablespoon of butter. Using a blender and working in batches, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. The soup can be refrigerated up to 2 days at this point.
This soup is delicious served cold or hot. Garnish each serving with a dollop of creme fraiche, chopped fennel fronds and crumbled pancetta or bacon.