The warm weather is here in the northeast, but that doesn't stop me from making soup. I've already got one picked out for this weekend. Recently, a friend made carrot ginger soup for a potluck and it got into my head to make some of my own.
I've made it before, but I looked around for a new recipe just for fun. This one on Epicurious caught my eye because it includes lemongrass, which I hadn't considered or cooked with before. Previously I've used curry spices or cashews in carrot soups. Cashews add some body and a bit of protein, curry of course adds some nice warmth and spice.
So here's our recipe:
As I'm sure you expect of me by now, I did several things differently and was very happy with the results. Often when I see recipes online I think they are going to be too mild so I will increase the spices, and sometimes even the main ingredients. I bought two pounds of carrots. I don't know if between peeling and chopping off ends that I actually got rid of half a pound of carrot, but it didn't seem to be worth worrying about. This is me not worrying about it. I increased the ginger by 50%, doubled the lemongrass, and started with 1 cup of onion and about 3/4 Cup of shallots. I've taken to keeping a pound of shallots on hand. They keep better than onions, and can usually be substituted for them, while the reverse is not necessarily true. I love their nice sharp flavor and if you fry them to a crisp they're good on top of many things.
I don't use my kitchen mallet very often. Usually it's for when I make chicken or veal Parmesan and I want to flatten a cutlet, all the better to crisp you my dear. This time, it was just a couple of whacks to each stem of the lemongrass. They immediately released their delightful fragrance into the air, so I know I did that right.
An option to consider next time is half vegetable broth and half chicken broth, but I wasn't going to do that this time. I had the luck of my dinner guest offering some of his homemade chicken stock so of course I used that.
I served the soup with a sous vide chicken breast that I spiced with garlic and ground chile pepper. I wanted some of those tiny Thai peppers, but my nearest grocery store did not have any, so the garnish was some chopped scallions, which worked pretty well. I dunked a bit of chicken in my soup and that was unexpectedly delicious.
Questions? Comments? I always love to hear from you.