Friday, October 28, 2011

Roasted Carrot Soup

I've been absent for so long! Alice is doing well in our house, though at times she has more energy than she knows what to do with. I continue to enjoy my job, and it keeps me very busy! I just spent three days in Yakima for AmeriCorps SERVES, the annual conference for AmeriCorps members to get essential training and network with eachother. I won't have a work-free weekend until November 19, and hopefully I'll be able to take full advantage of finally having two consecutive days off!

I spent some real time in the kitchen tonight, for the first time in what seems like months. Until just recently I had a huge dislike for soup--couldn't handle the texture. I'm not sure what caused a change, but now I'm all about soup! Frozen french onion soup from Safeway has been our go-to Friday night dinner for a few weeks now, and it got me thinking. I had a bit more energy than normal after work today so set to making the roasted carrot soup that I'd been thinking about.

Turning a few simple ingredients into a fantastic soup does take a little bit of time, but it was definitely worth it!

Roasted Carrot Soup-Ingredients:
2 pounds carrots cut into pieces for roasting
1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
3 cloves garlic
olive oil as needed to coat vegetables
4 cups vegetable stock

And here's how to!
Preheat oven to 450. Toss the carrots and onion with olive oil, then spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on garlic cloves (leave the peel on!), wrap in aluminum foil, and put on top rack in warm oven.

Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Stir once or twice to make sure roasting is even. The garlic cloves will probably finish much sooner, so keep an eye on them and remove the foil packet when they're done. 

After removing vegetables from the oven, put in a sauce pot on the stove. Squeeze garlic from peels into the onion carrot mixture. Add enough vegetable broth to cover the vegetables--I used about 3 cups.

Bring vegetables to a simmer and make sure the carrots are nice and tender! When the carrots are sufficiently cooked transfer the vegetable mixture to a blender. Do this in small batches so your blender isn't more than half full at a time. Add more vegetable broth as needed to make sure that carrots can move in the blender. I added at least an additional cup during the blending process.

When completely blended the soup can be transferred back to a saucepan to re heat, but I went straight to serving alongside my oven-fresh bread.

I was very impressed by how creamy this soup was, even though it contains no dairy! It has a great mouth feel, and I highly recommend you make this roasted carrot soup!

The bread I whipped up was pretty easy--
2 cups very warm water
1 packet yeast
2 Tbl sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 425 and place an oven-safe dish in the bottom of the oven.
Mix the water, sugar, and yeast and let proof for 10 minutes.
Stir in salt.
Mix in flour. I had a very soupy dough, so probably used more than 4 cups of flour. Add until your dough is smooth and not sticky then knead until elastic.
Next, cut the dough ball into 4 sections. Roll each into a rope (mine were 12 inches long, you could go longer). Twist two ropes together to make a loaf. Do the same with the final 2 ropes.
Now you can put straight in the oven, or let rise for another 15 minutes.
At the same time you put the bread in the oven, pour 2 cups of water in the dish in the bottom of the oven.
Bake 15-18 minutes.

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