Glazed Carrot Soup

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 45 minutes

You can glaze any vegetable that’s starchy and sweet enough to convert a little cooking liquid into a syrupy coating, and nothing works better than carrots. Other root vegetables, like turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, or celery root, will give you a stronger flavor treated this way.

The idea is to lightly caramelize the vegetables as they become tender, using a little fat and some water, stock, or juice. The result is a wonderful creaminess.

Use the oil instead of butter and the soup becomes vegan.

A bonus: These kinds of soups are good chilled.

11/2 pounds carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons butter or 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

1 teaspoon sugar, maple syrup, or honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cups vegetable stock or water

2 tablespoons minced fresh chervil or parsley for garnish

01 Put the carrots, butter, 3/4 cup water, and the sugar in a large skillet or saucepan and turn the heat to high. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 5 minutes.

02 Uncover and raise the heat a bit. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are cooking in the butter. Lower the heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are very tender, about 10 minutes more. If they start to stick or brown, add a tablespoon or so of stock.

03 Add the stock and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the syrup at the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat so that the stock gently bubbles and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes more.

04 Use an immersion blender to purГ©e the soup in the pan or cool the mixture slightly, pour into a blender container, and carefully purГ©e. (The soup may be made ahead to this point, cooled, and refrigerated. Serve cold or gently reheated.) Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve, garnished with a sprinkle of chervil.

Variations

Glazed Carrots with Orange and Ginger. In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger and 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the carrot mixture and use orange juice instead of water.

Glazed Carrots with Garlic, Tequila, and Lime. In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon grated lime zest to the carrot mixture. Instead of water, use a mixture of 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup tequila, and 1/4 cup water. Instead of chervil or parsley, garnish with chopped cilantro.

Mustard-Glazed Carrot Soup. In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard to the carrot mixture.