Cream of Carrot Soup with Dill and a Zing

Susan asked for this recipe on spec. I have to say, I love this soup. And it is getting to be the time of year when I usually make it, so here it. It is originally from “Cooking with Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey.” I make it about once a year around the holidays for family get togethers, usually either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. A small serving makes a soup course that is a fantastic kick-off to a holiday meal. Then again, I’m not sure why it has been restricted to that. I guess I could make it any time. Maybe its the cream and butter. As is usually the case with soups and stews, it will be as good or better the next day. Anyway if you bother to make it, let me know how you like it, or if you have ideas for improvement.

2 lb carrots

4 Tbs butter

1/2 lb onions finely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

4 cups chicken broth, or substitute your favorite vegetarian alternative

Salt to taste (think about what’s already in the stock you use)

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

2 Tbs fresh dill finely chopped

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste

Makes about 12 servings

Trim and peel the carrots, then slice into 1/4″ rounds. There should be approximately 6 cups worth.

Melt the butter in 5 or 6 quart pot and add the onion. Over medium heat, cook the onion, stirring, until it starts to appear translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the carrots, broth, and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.

Ladle some of the mixture into a food processor and process to a very smooth puree. Repeat until all the mixture has been processed. If you are planning on serving it immediately or are going to chill it, you can pour it into a large serving bowl as it is processed. Otherwise place it into any bowl until it is all done and you can return it to the pot to quickly reheat when ready to serve it.

Add the cream, milk, dill, and cayenne, and salt if needed. Serve hot or very cold.