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Now is surely the time when the carrots are ripe and sweet. A summer’s worth of the sun’s energy makes them sublime.

Thing is, what do you do with them all? Raw carrots are fun, but that crispness can get to you after a while. [My teeth start to hurt!] Heritage carrots, like these, are so beautiful it seems a shame to chop them all up but there is payoff her. A perfect single note soup from Alice Water. She is the inspiration for the American “fresh and local” movement.

Eat this soup and you will understand why.

Alice has many variations for you to try here:

Don’t cook the onion in advance, just add to the broth

Garnish the final product with sour cream or cream fraiche plus herbs

Add ¼ cup of basmati rice with carrots, use water instead of broth and add 1 cup of plain yogurt just before pureeing. Finish with a garnish of mint.

Cook a jalapeno pepper with the onions, add some cilantro when pureeing, and garnish with more cilantro.

Roast some cumin seeds in butter or olive oil and use as a final garnish.


Carrot Soup

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

Melt in a heavy-bottomed pot:

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter

Add: I

2 onions, sliced

1 thyme sprig

Cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add:

2 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and sliced (about 6 cups)

Season with:

Salt

Cook for 5 minutes. Cooking the carrots with the onions for a while build flavor. Add:

6 cups broth

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. When done, season with salt to taste, and puree if desired.


Source: Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters [Clarkson Potter, 2007]