You know you have carrots in your veggie crisper. Transform them from a healthy snack into a healthy meal!
I am very much a fan of shortcuts when necessary or practical. I keep store-bought pickled beets in the fridge for afternoon snacks and don’t feel badly that I haven’t made them. I use packaged puff pastry to save time when making desserts. For weekday lunches, I make many of my soups with either bouillon or a can of broth. In fact, that is what I did when I made the original Creamy (Yet Lowfat) Carrot Soup. It was a fine soup in its own right.
Recently I decided to try my hand at a new version of carrot soup. It was a cold, gray November day (of which we’ve had many this year). I wanted a soup that could simmer on the stove for hours and make my home feel warmer. I also wanted a soup that would have an end product that was creamy. The only probably with wanting both of these items is that creamy soups don’t simmer well.
Not one to give up easily, I thought about a way to satisfy both of my cravings. The answer was quite simple. Don’t take the easy route. Make your own broth.
The decision to make my own vegetable broth resulted in a soup that had so much more flavor. While I like many of the soups that I make, I absolutely adored this soup. While this may not be the nicest thing to say, I was excited when my husband had a big lunch and didn’t want a big dinner. That meant there would be extras for my lunch the next day. Yay! Two rounds of soup for me with only one round of cooking!
Besides this being an incredibly flavorful and good for you soup, it also is quite flexible. It could serve as the base for many an add-in. In fact, I created a list of possible options:
- For a spicy version, add cooked and crumbled chorizo
- For a heartier soup, add grilled and diced chicken
- For a veggie-fest, add broccoli florets
- For a playful soup, top with grilled cheese croutons
And there are many more options. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Or enjoy it as is. It’s truly lovely.
- 6 cups water
- 1 sweet onion, quartered
- 4 celery stalks, quartered
- 4 large carrots, ends trimmed & quartered
- 2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 7 carrots, peeled & cubed
- ½ cup whole milk
- Combine water, onion, celery, 4 carrots, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a large pot.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.
- Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain broth with a fine mesh sieve, and return broth to pot.
- Add peeled and cubed carrots to broth, bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook for 10-12 minutes, until carrots are tender.
- Allow broth to cool for 30 minutes.
- Puree broth and carrots in small batches.*
- Return puree to pot.
- Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Stir in milk.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- *Depending on the thickness you want, you may need to reserve some of the broth for another use.
- If adding chorizo, chicken, or cooked veggies, add them to the soup in the final 10 minutes of simmering before adding the milk. When adding cold ingredients, the soup may need a few more minutes to heat through.