in case you’re wondering, a potage is basically made by tossing a bunch of stuff into a pot with water and boiling it until it becomes some kind of (hopefully) tasty glop. straight-up medieval peasant food, yo. it’s perfect pantry-bustin’ fare.
at the weekend I found some carrots and celery that were on their way out, so it gave me the perfect excuse to make a nice potage that highlights the earthy sweetness of the carrots with a nice bump of warmth from a toasted cumin-and-chili-infused oil that gets tossed in at the end.
I like to add milk to mine for a little creaminess, but you could replace that with water or almond milk to make it vegan.
makes about 12 app OR 6 meal-sized servings
what you need:
- 2 medium-sized red potatoes, washed and quartered (no need to peel these puppies, unless you really want to)
- 5 large carrots, washed and quartered
- 2 stalks of celery, washed and quartered
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
- water to cover
- 2 cups of broth
- 1 cup of milk (this is totally optional and can be substituted for water or almond milk)
- a pinch each of salt & pepper
- additional hot water, as necessary
- 3 tbsp vegetable or mustard oil
- 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- another medium-sized yellow onion, minced
what you do:
- to a large pot (I use a spaghetti pot or dutch oven) add the first onion, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, ginger, salt, pepper and enough water to cover it all.
- bring the pot to a boil over high heat.
- reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for about 45 minutes or until all of the vegetables are fork tender. the carrots will take the longest.
- add the stock and milk.
- use an immersion blender or food processor to purée the lot of it until smooth, adding hot water as necessary to get the desired consistency. I like my carrot soup to be…well…loose…soupy. some believe it should be chunkier and thicker. “desired consistency” is really up to you.
- if necessary, return to the pot and heat over medium-high.
- lightly crush the cumin and chili flakes using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon and a bowl.
- in a small saucepan, toast the spices over medium-low heat until fragrant.
- add 1 tbsp of the oil and the minced onion.
- stir these until the onion is a deep brown colour.
- add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and heat for another minute.
- stir the spice/onion/oil mixture into the soup.
- serve hot with a some freshly ground pepper and croutons or breadsticks.