Creamy Carrot Soup

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Serves  8

6 tablespoons butter
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 pounds carrots (about 6 large), peeled and sliced
2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned, with the juices, may be used)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 serrano chile, seeded and diced
6 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, tomatoes, allspice, cilantro, serrano, and stock.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain, reserving liquid. Purée vegetables in a food processor until smooth. Return the reserved liquid and puréed vegetables to the pan and add the cream. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Put the Spring Onion Purée in a squeeze bottle, or with a spoon, drizzle designs on top of the soup in a thin stream.

Spring Onion Purée
Makes 1 cup

1 head roasted garlic
½ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup water, if needed
Salt to taste

Place the garlic, onions, cilantro and oil in a blender and puree until smooth.  Add salt to taste and add water, if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.