Chantenay Carrot Soup
Spire - Boston
The gorgeous, bright-orange color of this soup is reason enough to get out your carrot peeler and stir up a pot. The flavors of the spices and carrots blend together perfectly, leaving the soup just sweet enough. Have a few extra carrots available for juicing in case your soup ends up too thick. At Spire, Frasca serves the soup with caramelized hazelnuts, plumped cranberries, and poached lobster.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 5 pounds Chantenay carrot or any organic carrots
- 1 Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 2 cloves
Remove the root ends and any brown or green spots from the carrots and reserve 2 pounds. Juice 3 pounds of the carrots (for about 2 cups of juice) and the juice through a fine strainer. Slice the remaining 2 pounds of carrots into 1/2-inch-thick discs.
Add oil and onions to a wide, heavy-bottomed pot. Sweat the onions over medium heat, covered, until it is translucent. Add the sliced carrots and reduce heat to low. Stir frequently to prevent the carrots from caramelizing. After 10 minutes, season the carrots with salt and pepper and cover them with the carrot juice. Place the spices in a sachet or cheesecloth and add to the pot. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Remove the spice sachet. Purée the soup in small batches in a blender or food processor until creamy, and then through a fine strainer.
To serve, heat the soup in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add a little extra carrot juice to thin it. If you like, garnish the soup with caramelized hazelnuts rolled in pepper, fresh cranberries plumped up in hot, sweetened brandy, or poached lobster dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
The soup will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up to three months.