Your cold summer soup's best friend is ricotta whey, which provides a light, refreshing dairy under-note, without the heaviness of the cream you'll put in the same soup, come winter. When making Jennifer Perillo’s Creamy Homemade Ricotta – which you really must – you end up with more than 2 quarts of light but flavorful whey. Frankly, at this time of year, I cannot think of a better way to use it. (If you don’t make ricotta, don’t worry: you can use a touch of buttermilk.) Chilled soups can taste a bit flat, so I’ve boosted the ginger here by using ground as well as fresh, with a good bit of ground coriander. Also, the soup’s flavor comes through when it is just cool, and not ice cold, so take it out of the fridge a good half hour or more before serving. Make this as thin or as thick as you like. I find it more refreshing when it’s on the thin side. When I want a texture that’s more sheer, I halve and cook the onion with the carrots, but then remove it before blending the soup. Either way . . . . enjoy! ;o) —AntoniaJames
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil (or any neutral vegetable oil)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ¼ pounds of carrots, scrubbed and sliced (1/2” slices)
Knob of ginger about 2” x 1”, peeled and chopped (2 heaping tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ground coriande
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2-3 cups ricotta whey, or ½ cup buttermilk + about 2 cups of cold water, to taste
Sweat the onion in the oil over medium low heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat for about a minute, stirring frequently.
Add the ground ginger and coriander, and stir well to coat the vegetables. Cook for about a minute and then add the chopped carrots, the chopped ginger, a good pinch of salt, and about 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook just until the carrots are fork tender – it should take no more than 8 - 10 minutes once the liquid is simmering.
Strain the solids, reserving the cooking liquid. Let both cool for 10-15 minutes. (They'll cool more quickly if separated.)
Process the vegetables with a few tablespoons of the cooking iiquid (and the buttermilk, if you are not using whey) for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides after each minute. Give it a good stir and if you see any chunks whatsoever, even if small, process for at least another minute.
Add the cooking liquid and process for about a minute. Then add the whey (or cold water, if using buttermilk) and process for another minute.
Test for salt and correct. Let cool. Refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving; check for salt at the temperature at which you’ll be serving and correct if necessary. Grind black pepper and stir it in before serving. Garnish with mint or cilantro leaves.
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)