Monday, May 26, 2014

Roasted carrot and jalapeño soup

For those of you that don't know, I work in the kitchen at a Child Development Center. It's a great job, I get to work with kids who tell me when they grow up they want to be Ironman,  so that they too will be able to fly. Or that its their birthday and after I wish them happy birthday the teacher tells me in fact that no, its not their birthday at all. It has its perks. I also get to eat at three of the great restaurants we have there. A couple weeks ago there was a spicy carrot soup that I fell in love with. It was indeed spicy and I love dipping grilled chicken in it. As much as I loved this soup and had it as much as I possibly could while it was still available I was instantly inspired to make it my own. So I thought, lets roast it, add jalapeños and take it to a different level. Lets take note I didn't say "another level", just different. Much respect to Marcus and his amazing soup.

But enough about Marcus, lets talk more about this soup. First, I peeled a pound and a half of carrots. Then I cut them into large chunks along with 3 jalapeños and one red onion and roast them in the oven. Coat them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them until they are tender and have a nice caramel color around the edges.

Now its time to build a roux for our soup. For this I take a stick of butter and melt it into a large pot. Then I add a diced onion, jalapeño and four cloves of garlic. I sauté these together until the butter is melted, then I add about 5 tablespoons of flour. Mix well until you have a thick paste like consistency, then add 2 cups chicken stock, a little at a time. Then add the roasted vegetables from the oven to the pot along with 3 cups of half and half.

While that mixture simmers together you can work on your soup garnish. I took half of a green bell pepper and half of a red bell pepper and sautéed them in a skillet till the edges had a nice color to them, then I added about a cup of frozen corn. I mixed this together with a little salt and pepper and set aside to garnish when the soup is finished.

Last  but not least it is time to finish the soup. Carefully emulsify the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If you don't have an emulsifier you can blend the soup in a blender in batches. Serve with the corn and pepper garnish and is perfect paired with cornbread or garlic toast. I think the jalapeño flavors adds a subtle and steady heat to this naturally sweet carrot soup.