Sunday, February 12, 2012

Soup Series 2: Rescue Orange!

Bend your ear down to this soup: it’s so orange, you can hear a tiny siren sound.

I found some neglected carrots and abandoned squash in the crisper drawer. They had some soft spots. And a few wrinkly peels. There may have been some sprouting. All right, I admit it: parts of them were brown.

My poor vegetables weren’t going to win any beauty contests; that was for sure. But they were mostly intact and I hated to throw them out. Besides, it was I who had failed them. They deserved more from me. I owed it to them. “You will look just fine as soup,” I told them.

Cooked this way, they look (and taste) exciting and delicious again! A splash of orange juice and a sprig of tarragon rescues them from the trash can.

Carrot and Squash Soup with Orange and Tarragon
Serves 6

2 T butter or olive oil
1 c chopped onion
6 c diced carrots and/or winter squash, such as butternut and kabocha
1 qt broth
½ c orange juice
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter or oil in a stockpot. Sauté the onion until soft, about 4 or 5 minutes. Dump in the carrots/squash and sauté that for another 5 or 6 minutes, until things begin to soften up and start hinting at getting brown.

Add the broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender, maybe 15 minutes.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor. For good measure (and if you need to impress someone), force the soup through a sieve; this will make it super-smooth.

Return the soup to the pot, add the remaining ingredients, and bring it up to piping hot. Serve to acclaim.

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