Over the last few years, I’ve been on a number of adventures around the world that have opened my eyes and inspired me to think in different ways. A lot of these adventures have inspired valuable lessons that have stuck with me, and others have inspired recipes as well! That gave me the idea to start a new series, which I’m calling “Food Exploring.” Once a month, I’ll dust off one of these adventures and share what lessons and recipes that particular adventure inspired!
There are dozens of great souvenirs you can take with you from adventures that aren’t things. While we do like to have objects in our house that spark stories, I think it’s far more valuable to take home a new skill, a new story, or a new experience. For me, my favorite thing to bring home from an adventure is a new recipe!
When we travel and explore, I love getting in touch with the accent du terroir of wherever we’re visiting. Why do people cook what they do and the way they do? What experiences and ways of thinking flavor the food they put on the table? When you investigate these things, you learn so much more about a place than you could ever learn from a tour, a book, or an Instagram photo, and you retain something far more valuable – a place’s traditions and its hospitality.
Sometimes I take the recipe itself, and other times I let that recipe inspire me to conjure up a whole new dish that just reminds me of the experience, of the flavors and the feelings. Take this carrot soup for example. It’s just a soup-ified version of the delicious carrot puree that I learned how to make in Guy Savoy’s kitchen in Las Vegas. That’s phenomenal in its own right, but this soup stands on its own and just wraps you in a velvety culinary hug.
And “we’ll add some more butter, because we’re French.” Thanks, Chef Mathieu!
Creamy Carrot Soup
What You’ll Need:
- 2-3 large carrots
- 1 shallot
- 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It:
1. Peel and slice the carrots into chunks and dice the shallot. Then prep a large saute pan over medium heat. Melt the butter.
2. When the butter is melted, throw in the carrot and shallot and let them cook for about 3 minutes, or until the shallot is soft and translucent.
3. Add the chicken broth. Cook the mixture for 20 minutes. Then add the cream and cook 10 more.
4. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Then pulse in a blender until it’s nice and smooth, and add seasoning to taste. If the soup is thicker than you want it to be, add a little more broth or a little milk and pulse again.
5. Serve and enjoy!
The basics of this soup – shallot or onion, stock, and cream – are the basis for any cream of anything soup. You can substitute broccoli, mushrooms, squash, or other vegetables for the carrot into this recipe and it still comes out tasting delicious. The carrot is by far my favorite, mostly because it’s a bit unexpected in a warm creamy soup, and it has the perfect warmth and color for these cold months.
It pairs very nicely with a non-oaky Chardonnay if you want a little bit of sip with your soup.
Read the inspiration for this soup:
- Cooking in Guy Savoy’s kitchen
- Mise en Place
That’s it for this first round of Food Exploring – I’d love to hear what you think of the lessons and of the series!