When it comes to feeding my family and others, one thing I have come to value is cooking with the season. I don't adhere to this ideal so staunchly that we are eating nothing but kale & stewed tomatoes in the winter; however, I really find that restraining from buying produce as much as possible out of season is a form of discipline. It is teaching my soul to fast from the idea (& quite literally) that I can have whatever food I want, whenever I want without thought of how it got there. Once the first crop of asparagus pops up, or sweet little strawberries, my soul & belly sing and I'm so glad I waited.
Because it's feasting time!
This rugged meets royalty soup is fit for such a time as Easter. In my mind, the most ultimate of celebrations. Let me introduce you to one of my most beloved soup creations. Her first name is Carrot Cardamom. Her middle name is Caramelized Onion. And her last name is simply "Soup." There is something about feeling like you're partaking in something so simple by the looks of a puree soup and then spoon after spoon you discover a mystery of elegance.
The sweetness of caramelized onions & savory pepper essence in the Cardamom. A hint of cream brings it all together. You sit to take it all in and think, "Surely, this is a moment to savor," as you look around the table to see your loved ones. Your belly & soul are filled to the brim. Your cup overflows!
How do you embrace the moments of ordinary eating, in order to enjoy the feasts of celebration?
Carrot Cardamom & Caramelized Onion Soup (printable recipe)
If you are avoiding dairy, simply subtract the heavy whipping cream (HWC). You could try using full fat coconut milk in place of the HWC, too. If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan, then use vegetable broth; however, I would recommend adding the HWC or coconut milk to add a bit more depth. You could also caramelize the onions the day before (or a couple) and put them in the fridge till it's soup time.
1 lb carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 Tb olive oil
1 tsp whole cardamom, crushed with a mortar & pestle (it should resemble coarse cracked pepper)
8 cups homemade chicken broth, or store-bought
2 Tb-1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (HWC)
1 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt or Kosher Salt, (more for later to taste)
Put a large pot over low heat. Add the olive oil and allow the pot to heat up a bit (say 1 minute). Add your thinly sliced onions to the pot. Stir around to coat the onions in the olive oil. You want to ensure that the heat is on low and stir occasionally to distribute the onions in the pot to caramelize & brown a bit. This should take about 30 minutes. The best part is to taste to see if they're to your liking.
Remove the onions to a bowl for later use. Increase the heat to medium heat and add the carrots, chicken broth, salt & cardamom. You will cook this for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender (meaning you can easily pierce through with a fork). Add the caramelized onions to the pot.
Using an immersion blender, or a regular blender (if using, do it in batches and cover the lid with a towel) and begin to puree the soup. You want all carrots & onions to be pureed. There will be little specks of the cardamom, which is divine. Taste to see if you need a bit more salt. Add the HWC and mix it around. Taste again.
At this point, if you want a thinner soup, you can either add warmed chicken broth or even water. If you like it as it is--great. You could refine this more by pouring the soup through a sieve to make it less rustic from the cardamon specks & pureed carrot pulp. Serves 4-6 people.