Carrot Soup with Hazelnuts + Blood Orange Oil: Sunday Suppers, part i

I tend to be a fan of the understated. When Karen from Sunday Suppers called with the idea of hosting a valentine's supper together, promising our approach would be anything but obvious, I knew she'd come up with something novel and chic. She always does. But I didn't count on this earthy brilliance--twigs, spelling out L-O-V-E, taped to the white washed walls behind the table which she dressed with tiny blooms. It was just right. 

And, it was the perfect setting for teaching exactly the kind of cooking I believe love thrives on -- simple, beautiful food with flavors that shine. Carrot soup, with a little care, is the king of earthy brilliance. Start with fresh carrots, as close to home-grown as possible {we have the farmer's market to thank for ours}, and simmer them into a silky soup with onions, ginger and water. Then, once pureed, finish them with fresh pressed carrot juice for pure, vibrant flavor. With a garnish of yogurt, roasted hazelnuts and a simple homemade blood-orange oil, this soup is art for the eyes and the mouth. 

P.S. This soup is an early preview of my new cookbook, Feast, which I just saw the cover of today! 

Carrot Soup with Hazelnuts and Blood Orange Oil

Serves 4 to 6

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp for blood-orange oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 in/2.5 cm peeled fresh ginger, chopped
2 lbs/910 g organic carrots, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 cups/960 ml to 1.2 L water
1 sprig fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 cups/480 ml fresh carrot juice
1/2 cup/120 ml full-fat plain yogurt
½ bunch of chives, snipped or chervil
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 blood orange, juiced

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots, thyme and enough water to cover (4 cups if you like a thicker soup, 5 cups if you like yours thinner) and bring to a boil. Cover loosely and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the thyme, remove from the heat and purée until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in fresh carrot juice, reheating over a low flame as needed to warm through. Season and keep warm over a low flame until you are ready to serve.

Stir together the blood orange juice with in an additional 2 tbsp of finishing oil. Ladle the soup into four or six shallow bowls, and garnish with a dollop of yogurt in each bowl. Finish with a drizzle of blood-orange oil, hazelnuts and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Serve warm.

recipes + food styling :: Sarah Copeland
styling + photography :: Karen Mordechai for Sunday Suppers

1 comment:

chitchatchomp@yahoo.com.au said...

I love your philosophy of food,and I love the sound of this soup. I'm looking forward to trying it.

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.