spicy carrot potage

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:

  1. 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.
  2. bring the pot to a boil over high heat.
  3. 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.
  4. add the stock and milk.
  5. 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.
  6. if necessary, return to the pot and heat over medium-high.
  7. lightly crush the cumin and chili flakes using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon and a bowl.
  8. in a small saucepan, toast the spices over medium-low heat until fragrant.
  9. add 1 tbsp of the oil and the minced onion.
  10. stir these until the onion is a deep brown colour.
  11. add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and heat for another minute.
  12. stir the spice/onion/oil mixture into the soup.
  13. serve hot with a some freshly ground pepper and croutons or breadsticks.

 

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