Quick Carrot Soup

6 Mar

Another cold and snowy day beckons for a hearty soup. Rummaging through the fridge and pantry I found the following, and prepped along the way;

1/2 onion, minced

2-3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

2 stalks celery, washed and finely diced

1.5# carrots, washed and shredded

chickpeas, one 12 ounce can, drained and divided (2/3 for soup, 1/3 for garnish)

fennel seeds, to taste, crushed (mortar and pestle work great for this)

black pepper, to taste, coarse crushed (can be combined with the fennel)

salt, coarse Kosher

3 cups vegetable stock (house-made or low sodium store bought is fine)

1-2 pats unsalted butter

grated Parmesan cheese

 

In a large saucepan, or stockpot, heat a pat of butter over medium-high until foamy. Add garlic, onion and celery and saute for a few minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

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At this time, add 2/3 of the chickpeas, reserving the rest for garnish, and add the pepper and crushed fennel seeds. After another minute or so, add the carrots. Add the stock, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

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While the soup is cooking, make the garnish. Heat a small saute pan and add a little butter. Once heated, add the remaining chickpeas and saute until browned. Remove from the heat onto a paper towel to drain, and lightly dust with a combination of coarse black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Set aside until ready.

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After about 20 minutes, the vegetables should all be tender. Either process in batches in a food processor, or with an immersion blender, process until smooth.  Return to the pan, adjust seasonings, if needed, checking for salt, etc., keep warm until service.

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Be sure to quickly cook remainder and refrigerate as soon as possible. A handy way to cool leftovers is to immerse stockpot into an ice water bath, and stir soup until cool, adding additional ice to bath as needed.

 

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