Carrot soup is incredible or it is awful, there is no in between. I actually didn’t much care for it until I tried Thomas Keller’s version, which squarely rested on the incredible end of the spectrum. The sweetness of the carrots comes through with an intensity that causes you to sit back and pause, and that color! The bright orange is guaranteed to make a statement on your table.
We are pulling some really amazing Nantes carrots from the garden right now. Planted late in the summer, carrots tolerate the cooler temperatures of fall well and will produce right through the winter. Left in the ground too long they will continue to grow and split apart like a loaf of bread, so check regularly and pull them no later than when they achieve maximum length for the variety you are growing.
The first rule of carrot soup is to discard everything you hold true about making soup. There are no vegetables to sweat, no broth, no heavy creams, and this is a soup that is better served cold.
32 oz. carrot juice
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. honey
1/4 tsp curry
1 cup whole milk
In a saucepan, heat the carrot juice. Add the shallots and carrots, simmer on low heat for 45-60 minutes. Simmer on low heat, you don’t want it to be boiling. Add the honey and the curry. The curry adds an amazing dimension to this soup and I use just enough curry to smell it rather than taste it. If you are more sensitive on the nose, just a pinch will do.
Transfer to a blender and thoroughly blend. Add the milk.
I very much like this soup cold and in small servings, served in a shot glass. The flavor is so intense that a little goes a long way, but last night I had a full serving, warm, in a bowl and enjoyed every spoonful. A dab of creme fraiche mixed with chives is a nice accessory. Salt to taste, but in my opinion this does not require salt and I would definitely not grind any black pepper, which would look like dust specks in the amazing orange presentation.