Glazed Carrot and Spinach Soup

I find it really hard to get a good picture of soup. Especially this one, because it has a little butter which creates a lovely sheen on the surface. This lovely sheen means that it reflects light, and ends up looking like a little puddle of swamp water in pictures. But believe me, in real life, it looks just like it tastes - delicious!

I know this soup is destined to become part of my regular repertoire, if I ever form one that is.

First of all, it's a carrot soup. Carrots are that thing I always have in my refrigerator. It's usually a very lonely bag of mini, ready-to-eat carrots lying in the produce drawer in their plastic bag, one corner unceremoniously ripped off. I munch and crunch them standing in the kitchen, leaning on a counter while trying to figure out what's for dinner.

Secondly, it's a glazed carrot soup. The butter and honey add just a little sweetness, balanced by the cayenne, black pepper, salt, and stock. Yum!

Third, it's pretty healthy and light, while being thick and rather creamy. The added spinach gives a little extra goodness. It's good hot and cold.

Glazed Carrot and Spinach Soup

*adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

1 1/2 lbs carrots, sliced

2 Tbs butter

1 tsp honey

salt, black pepper, and cayenne

6 cups vegetable stock (or 6 cups water and 2 vegetable bullion cubes)

cream to top (optional)

1) Put the carrots, butter, 3/4 cup water, and honey in a large saucepan on high heat. Add salt and peppers and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for about five minutes.

2) Uncover and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the carrots are cooking in the butter. Reduce heat and cook until the carrots are tender.

3) Add stock and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until it thickens slightly (about 10 minutes).

4) Puree soup, either using an immersion or regular blender. Serve hot or chilled, with a teaspoon of cream on top if desired.

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