It's a healthy soup, and it's so easy to make -- even people who aren't crazy about carrots are almost sure to like it because of the orange flavor and the slight sweetness.
By the way, this soup can be made ahead. In fact, it will taste better if you make it ahead because that gives the flavors time to meld.
CARROT-ORANGE SOUP (serves 4)
- 2 lbs. of raw carrots
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of Tropicana or other premium orange juice
- 1/4 cup of low-sodium, non-fat chicken broth
- Zest from a navel orange
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of onion salt
- 1 tablespoon of Cointreau or Triple Sec (optional)
- Fresh mint and/or creme fraiche for garnish
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1. Peel the carrots and then cut them into smaller sticks. Drop them in a large saucepan or pot of water -- bring it to a boil on the stove over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a steady simmer. Carrots are ready when the largest stick can be easily pierced with a small kitchen knife.
2. Drain and set carrots aside for a moment. Add the butter to the now-empty saucepan and turn the heat on low until the butter melts. Then turn the burner off.
3. Place cooked carrots in a large electric blender. Add the orange juice, chicken broth, orange zest, ground ginger and sugar. Turn the blender on the high or "puree" setting.
4. Once the soup ingredients are fully integrated in a puree, pour this soup mixture back into the saucepan or pot. Stir thoroughly so that the soup base and butter are well integrated. Then add the onion salt and stir it more. Feel free to add a little more orange juice if you prefer a thinner consistency.
5. Add the Cointreau or another orange-flavored spirit to the soup. Stir thoroughly and then place it in the refrigerator.
6. Serve the soup chilled with fresh mint and a small dollop of creme fraiche that has been sprinkled with fresh nutmeg.