We had an especially long growing season in Minnesota in 2015, but it was the end of October and I still had not cleared out the carrot patch I'd watered but otherwise ignored in our garden most of the summer and fall. I ended up filling a gallon-sized bag to overflowing with carrots that mostly resembled those "fun size" ones at the grocery store. But they tasted fantastic! (mental note to perhaps thin the carrots out in June next year...) It was too much volume to keep in the fridge, so I had to cook them down into something I could keep in the chest freezer.
I read several different carrot soup recipes, and played around with them to get the Asian flavor I was looking for, while using up what else I had on hand:
- 3 cups chopped carrots
- 1 stalk celery, cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Set a stock pot on medium heat and add the vegetable broth, peanut butter, and lemon juice. Let that warm up while you prepare your vegetables.
In a medium saucepan, saute the garlic and ginger paste in 2 tablespoons of butter for 2 minutes, then add the celery, red pepper, and onion, cooking for another 3 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and the remaining tablespoon of butter and let that cook, stirring well, until the carrots are spatula-tender.
Combine the vegetables with the broth, and add the five-spice and pepper. Bring this to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes, then take off the heat.
If you have an immersion blender, stick that in the pot and go; otherwise carefully pour small batches into your countertop blender - this is a thick liquid that keeps its heat; take care to not get scalded.
I served some for dinner right away with rice and chicken, and put the rest in freezer bags.
The soup works very well as a side sauce for meat and rice; on its own I would add red pepper and chopped sausage. Lots of vitamins in here; I'm looking forward to eating this through the cold winter to come!