Friday, November 5, 2010

Creamy Carrot Soup



Our trip to the Chicago Art Institute really inspired a soup bonanza this week! After we enjoyed the celery soup so much, I decided to make another soup that I had never made before. This time, carrot soup. In my bowl you see both the celery soup and carrot soup served together.  You can click on the link above to find the celery soup recipe.


This carrot soup recipe includes fennel seeds, leeks and thyme, all of which are favorites of mine. It also was fortuitous that my grocer was having a sale on bunches or organic carrots! I still had a little celery soup left when I made this so I decided to plate them together. It was a delicious combination, but the carrot soup was also delightful on its own. With the chilly weather we've been having,  I was so grateful to have these soups to warm my soul!

As I promised, here are a few more of the highlights that we saw at the Chicago Art Institute last weekend. I am so grateful my husband also enjoys art! He was the one who organized our trip to the museum last weekend.  How cool is that?

Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" - one of my husband's favorites:


The classic Grant Wood "American Gothic".  You can see the outline of the pitchfork echoed in the farmer's overalls.  Also, the farmer's unmarried daughter's dress is echoed in the curtains on the upper gothic window.


Back to the carrot soup!


Carrot Soup with Fennel and Thyme
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Printable Recipe

Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Several sprigs of thyme
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
5 cups (or more) of chicken stock (can also use vegetable stock)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Additional chopped fresh thyme for garnish, if desired.

Note: Removing thyme leaves is not one of my favorite jobs. In soups and stews I prefer to simply add whole thyme sprigs. As the soup cooks, the thyme leaves fall off of the sprigs and the woody sprigs are removed before puréeing.

Place a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add carrots, onion, leek, garlic, thyme sprigs and fennel seeds; stir to coat. Cover and cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Add 5 cups broth or enough to cover all of the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer until carrots are very tender, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes. Cool slightly and carefully remove all of the thyme sprigs (the leaves will have dropped off into the soup). Working in batches, purée soup in blender (or, use an immersion blender right in the pot as I prefer to do). Return soup to pan. Thin to desired consistency with more broth. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Ladle hot soup into bowls and sprinkle with additional thyme, if desired.

37 comments:

  1. Oh, what a beautiful soup! Love the color!

    New to your blog; love it!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  2. i love how flavorful this soup sounds... yum! wish i had some of this right now. thank you for sharing.

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  3. This carrots soup look amazig! gloria

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  4. thanks so much for the kind comments on the app, great soup YUM :-) and leeks oh i love those

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  5. I;ve had carrot soup once in my life and loved it..so creamy! Will copy this recipe for sure..

    Loved all the commentary of the art pieces, many facts I was not aware of. Thanks!!!

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  6. That's a beautiful looking soup. Since we have a surplus of carrots it's a good choice too. Thanks!!

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  7. It cracks me up how in the "old" days, people didn't smile for their pictures.
    I've never had carrot soup..I wonder why. I'm going to have to give this a try! :)

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  8. congratulations, this soup is warm and comforting...kiss, :)

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  9. I love the photos of the museum. Museums are the first places I visit when I am in a foreign country. They show me where the people of the country come from and where they are headed. I see that you are in soup mode too these days. Carrots are such sweethearts literally. It looks beautiful.

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  10. In all of the time I've seen that farmer painting, I never noticed that it was his daughter!
    The carrot soup looks great, I want to make some soup this weekend too:@)

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  11. Susan, I love all veggies and your carrot soup sounds delicious! I like how you made it a Yin and Yang soup ;o) Thanks for pointing out the outline of the pitchfork echoed in the farmer's overalls. I don't know if I ever knew that, or maybe this just refreshed my memory ;o)

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  12. You are on a roll with all these soups! I love all of the flavors in this soup as well...sounds like a seriously heartwarming dish!

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  13. another wonderful post Susan,art &confort food, I like it!Many kisses...

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  14. I've loved your Art Institute photos, Susan.
    And the carrot soup has some wonderful flavors..and the two-toned look is very inviting.

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  15. One of your works of art should be there:) After all there is one exposed even in QC:) Love the idea of fennel in the soup:) That famous couple:)

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  16. The way that you combined the carrot and celery soup is so artful in and of itself. Do you have a favorite painting here. I guess, for me, it would be American Gothic as I am most familiar with it, but had never noticed the echoing of the daughter's dress in the curtains. Interesting.

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  17. Hi Susan,

    I love how you plated both soups together... lovely presentation!

    The Public Notice piece is quite striking. What an interesting display.

    :)
    ButterYum

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  18. Love that lighted staircase! One year I sent a copycat version of the Hopper pic with Santa and his reindeer seated at the diner.

    The soup combo made a colorful fall presentation. If you like fresh ginger it marries beautifully with carrots in a cream soup.

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  19. This carrot soup looks divine! ~ I have several recipe's but this one I will try because of the fennel & thyme.I'm sure it's going to be delish.
    ~Dianne~

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  20. It looks delicious, Susan. I like leeks, and carrots, one of the few I like!.
    Wonderful art exhibit. Love the steps!

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  21. This soup looks heavenly, Susan. Our weather has turned cold and rainy and I make a pot of soup at least once each week. Your carrot soup is now at the top of my list.

    I've put the Art Institute on my list for my next trip to Chicago to visit my daughter. I would love to see that Picasso.

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  22. This one looks as good as the celery! I can't decide which I want first. (or maybe I'll make both and plate them together like you've done) Nighthawks is one of my favorites, too.

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  23. Neat idea to combine the soups, looks delicious! Thanks for the tour of the museum, I love the masterpieces you shared with us!

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  24. It's rainy, windy and chilly here! What I really want and need is a bowl of warm creamy healthy carrot soup with a couple of slices of bread! MMMmmm Life is good and flavourful.

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  25. Perfect timing Susan! I bought four pounds of organic carrots yesterday in Costco as I had carrot soup in mind. I still have fresh thyme growing in my garden too!

    I like Hopper's works ..he's one of my favorite artists.

    Hugs, Pat

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  26. That bowl of soup is like a piece of artwork. Beautiful!

    I made a carrot soup last winter and was amazed at the flavor. I am adding this one to the list of recipes to try!

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  27. I like your 2 soup presentation it is very pretty. I don't think I have ever had carrot soup though.

    The tour of the art gallery was very interesting. I did spy the tines in the overalls and the dress in the window but didn't see the extra pair of legs in the Picasso. The step exhibit is really amazing.

    I forgot to set out clocks back last night so we were up early :) I think this was the first time ever!

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  28. What an artistic presentation of your soups!

    I love this post. Knees issues have prevented me from strolling through museums myself lately, so I loved getting to do so vicariously through you! Wonderful!

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  29. Beautiful soup... it even looks like art!!!
    Your trip To the Chicago Art Institute must have been spectacular... American Gothic!!!! In real life! I would have loved this fieldtrip... I am a museum lover.
    Thank you for your very lovely and kind comments on my blog tonight. I sure needed them. I'm not feeling so on top of things right now. But with a little prayer and God's power I'll be okay. Your comments came at the perfect time.
    Bless your heart!
    Yvonne

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  30. Your soup is so artistic! I love it. I am in such a soup mood. It is such a comfort food. Love the photos from the museum. How fun was that.

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  31. I came over to visit from Rebecca's Chow and Chatter. What a great photo of soup. Soup always presents a challenge to photograph and yours is outstanding.

    Carrol soup sounds delicious on this cool fall morning in south Florida, although it was 30 this morning at our home in the mountains of North Carolina.

    We love visiting art museums. If we ever get to Chicago, we'll be sure to make the Art Institute a priority on our list.
    Sam

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  32. Thanks again, everyone for all of your very kind comments!

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  33. nice post. . love thy art!lol same with the soup, Ohhh...any one of these is sure to warm you to the soul!

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  34. What a lovely soup...I imagine the putting the two together was fantastic! Soups are indeed so comforting when the weather is chilly...
    Thanks for sharing more of the art exhibits...Way cool that your husband set these up ;)

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  35. I have made this soup before, and forgotten about it! How could I? I loved it and it is a lovely colourful bowl of warm flavours and fun to eat separately or together...
    Love the art.
    :)
    valerie

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