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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Potage Crécy, or Carrot Soup

First of all, I'd like to thank both Laura from A World in a Pan and Natalie from Nat's Tried and Tested for featuring my Tortilla Española and my Cinnamon, Pear, and Chocolate Galette recipes respectively. When I started this little blog only a few months ago, I didn't think anyone would read it except for my husband and mom. Having a couple of my recipes featured on other sites helps motivate me to continue cooking and posting. They both have great sites, so go check them out!

Now, on to the food...

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a two-kilo bag of carrots. My daughter asked for some to snack on, and when I got to the grocery store this bag was cheaper than the loose carrots, so I bought it. Now, I like the occasional raw carrot, but I don't like cooked carrots. My husband has actually had to change his carrot cooking techniques to make sure that I'll eat some of his dishes. But I just couldn't resist trying the following recipe for potage crécy, or carrot soup, because it just looked so beautiful on Blue Kitchen, and hey, I had a lot of carrots to spare, so if it didn't turn out, then no worries.

My mom will be surprised to hear that I actually loved this soup! It was a perfect combination of the sweetness of carrots, the creaminess of the half and half, and in my case the spiciness of the black pepper that I generously added. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as Blue Kitchen's, but I think that was because I was guessing on the measurements of carrots and potatoes (Trying to convert pounds to kilos without the benefit of a scale can be difficult.) and because the food processor that came with our apartment is not the most sturdy of kitchen appliances. But the taste was great and the actual making of the soup was easy. My two-year-old daughter looked like we had starved her for days the way she was shoveling this into her mouth, and my husband, though more restrained, gave it two thumbs up.

(Okay, so the final picture makes this look kind of gross, but trust me, it's good! If you have a half-way decent blender/food processor, yours won't turn out quite so lumpy. And if you're a half-way decent photographer, your only picture won't have a shadow of your gigantic head right in the middle of the soup!) **For a picture of this soup that makes you actually want to eat it, go here. :-)

Potage Crécy
Adapted by Blue Kitchen from Williams-Sonoma Collection: French
Text-Only Version
Makes 4 cups [3 to 4 first course servings]
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, white and tender green parts, rinsed and sliced
3/4 pounds carrots (about 5 or 6), peeled and diced
3/4 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1-1/4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
additional fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Heat a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Melt butter and combine with olive oil. Add leeks and sauté, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add thyme, cover the pot and simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor, in batches, if necessary. (Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender in the pot.)
Return puréed soup to the pot. Add half-and-half, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste (using a light hand, depending on how salty your chicken stock or broth is). Bring to a simmer until just heated through. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme leaves or parsley. Serve.


Sara February 22, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

This sounds so good! I love carrot soup, I make a curried version that's delicious. I will try your recipe next time.

Lori February 25, 2009 at 2:12 PM  

This sounds great. I'm definitely going to try it. I like the occasional carrot, but don't like it when carrot flavor overpowers the dish. Carrot soup seems to be so popular now. I think I should give it a chance.

Mindy February 26, 2009 at 6:39 AM  

This soup is yummy...even for the non-carrot lovers. And perhaps, Sara, I'll try your curried version next time!

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