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Author Notes: I got this recipe from an old roommate. The orginal was in one of her vegetarian cookbooks, but I can't for the life of me remember the title - I just remember that the word "cream" was in quotation marks, because as you will see, this is a vegan soup. I tried googling the title, and while I was coming across hundreds of carrot soup recipes, none was it. And, this roommate, well, let's just say the soup was one of the only good things about her, so I'm not tracking her down to get the reference information.
It doesn't matter anyway, as I've made a variation of this soup at least once a month for the last six years, and by now, it's ingrained in my muscle memory. It's light and fresh - the dill makes it seem spring like, even when we're deep in March and it seems like spring and the asparagus will never come. It's dead simple - you don't even have to peel the carrots or chop the herbs because it all gets whizzed with an immersion blender at the end. The only reason you need to chop the carrots and leeks at all is so they cook quickly. The soup from start to finish can be ready in thirty minutes. It's basically fat free, vegan without being earnest tasting, is cheap to make, and stores in the fridge for up to a week for work lunches.
I've served this just as is, and I've topped it with store-bought and homemade croutons. I've even dressed it up by blobbing a dollop of sour cream on top. It's even become a fixture on the menu for the Hillman Family Easter celebrations - for no good reason, really, except maybe because the Easter Bunny likes carrots!
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 cups leeks (white and light green parts only)
- 4 cups unpeeled scrubbed carrots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 3/4 cups fresh flat leaf parsley
- 3/4 cups fresh dill fronds/leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (taste your soup first! if stock is salty omit!)
- Wash and chop 2 cups of leeks (usually 2 big ones), the white and light green parts only (save the dark green parts in your freezer for stock making). Cover with enough water (or stock if you have some, but water and a veggie bouillon cube works just as well, and in a pinch, I've used plain water too) so that everything is covered and there is about an inch of liquid on top. If 6 cups isn't enough, add water to top it up. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Cover and simmer until carrots are soft.
- Add your fresh dill - and it's important to add it at the end just before whizzing. I made the mistake of throwing it in at the beginning once, and the whole soup was blah and tasteless.
- Whiz the whole thing with your immersion hand blender. Add salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste. Depending on the stock or bouillon brand you've used, you might want to skip the salt altogether.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Carrot Recipe