Here in California the warm weather hangs around, making me almost forget that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. But when the latest issue of Fine Cooking was delivered in the mail, the gorgeous cover showing a croquembuche in all its glory was a clear reminder: the holidays will soon be here, it’s time for comfort food. Lots of things I want to cook right away from the magazine, but I started with a carrot and leek soup that turned out light and satisfying at the same time.
CARROT AND LEEK SOUP
(adapted from Fine Cooking)
1 T olive oil
1/2 T butter
1 medium-size leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 pound carrots, sliced (about 6, medium)
2 cups water (or chicken stock)
salt and pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
2-3 T fresh orange juice
Melt the olive oil and butter in a medium-sized pan, cook the shallots and leeks until soft but not brown, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Add the sliced carrots, water (or stock), thyme leaves, bring to a boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat. Cook until the carrots are soft, about 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to the consistency you enjoy (we prefer it with a little body, not fully smooth). Alternatively, you can use a blender or food processor (be careful when blending hot liquids). Bring the pureed soup back to the stove, add the yogurt and orange juice, heat very gently. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with croutons and minced chives.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I changed the recipe quite a bit, so if you want to make their original version (that includes fancy homemade herb croutons and a few more bells and whistles), buy the magazine. You won’t be disappointed: the cookies section alone and the step-by-step recipe for Beef Wellington are well worth the small investment… 😉
Yogurt is a perfect addition for certain soups, when a hint of richness is welcome, but you don’t want to go overboard. This recipe is similar to the creamy broccoli soup I recently blogged about, and the same basic method might be used for other veggies: butternut squash, cauliflower, even asparagus, although I haven’t quite optimized a method to get a nice, smooth texture when pureeing asparagus. Just another little item to add to my list of culinary challenges… 😉
Note to self: Make soup more often.
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