Ann's Creamy Carrot Soup

Last Saturday night the Husband and I, along with another couple, had the pleasure of dining at the home of our friends, Ann and Greg. Dinner at a friend’s house is easily my favorite way to spend a Saturday evening. Really, is there anything better than receiving a dinner invitation? It’s a down-right honor, is what it is. That a friend thinks enough of you to pick up her kid’s dirty socks, sweep the crumb-y kitchen floor, and slave away preparing a meal is enough to make me weak in the knees with appreciation.

The whole meal was delightful. It was delicious. It was de-lovely! But the Husband and I went absolutely gaga over Ann’s first course, which was this velvety carrot soup. You must try it; it’s heavenly! When I saw that organic carrots were on special in this week’s sale ad, I knew it was the perfect time to beg Ann for the recipe. Fortunately for me (and you!) she was happy to spill the beans. Also, I promised her top billing today, ha!

Worth noting: gluten-free cooks will love how this soup is thickened with rice instead of flour!

If you’re entertaining at home this weekend, give this incredibly simple, but decadent tasting soup a try. We’ll be by around 7:00!

Yields: roughly 6 cups
Source: The Recipe Collection of Mrs. Kathleen Gorlinski, via her daughter-in-law, Ann

1 small onion, diced
2 T. butter
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced (I used one bunch of the sale organic carrots)
3 T. uncooked rice
1 t. each sugar and salt
¾ t. white pepper
4 c. chicken broth

1 ½ c. half and half or milk

Melt the butter in a 2 quart saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden. Do not allow onion to brown.

Add the carrots, rice, sugar, salt, white pepper, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until carrots are very tender.

Cool soup slightly and transfer to a blender container and puree until smooth (*See NOTE on blending hot liquids). Return soup to the pan. Add the half and half or milk and heat through. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives, parsley sprigs, or carrot curls.

NOTE * BLENDING HOT LIQUIDS 101: If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve heard it before. Unless you enjoy cleaning hot soup off of yourself, your cabinets, and your ceiling, please, please, please do not 1). Fill your blender to the top with hot soup, and then 2). Put the lid on tightly, and then 3). Turn it on full blast. I’m telling you these things because 1). I like you, and 2). I don’t want your scalded self and your messed up kitchen on my conscience!

Rather, pour a little more than half of your soup in the blender. Keeping the lid slightly ajar (I like to hold mine in place with a clean dish towel), start the blender on low. Gradually increase the speed as the steam has escaped through the top of the blender. Return soup to the pan; repeat with the rest of the soup.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | May 13th, 2010