Saturday, September 24, 2011

Carrot-Kabocha Soup with Honey Plum Vinegar

Soup, man. I can't get enough of it.

Our dad and stepmom brought me a bottle of honey plum vinegar from a trip to Korea years ago and, as I tend to do with special things, I never used it. Until Chris requested carrot soup, and I didn't have any white wine on hand as specified in the recipe I started with, and... one thing led to another. This kind of reminds me of eating more complex, less-sweet honey glazed carrots. Plus, it's orange!*

Ingredients - halve all quantities if you want enough for 2-4 people for one dinner. Use these quantities if you want to eat if for lunch all week, freeze some, etc.

2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium onion, same
2 potatoes, same
1/2 a roasted Kabocha squash (acorn would work)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (a few more wouldn't hurt)
(I bet some celery would add a nice touch!)

4 TB butter
3/4 cup honey plum vinegar, or use another fruity vinegar and some honey
8 cups broth of your choice
1 TB hacho miso
Tarragon (I was using sprigs picked from the truly intimidating quantity currently hanging in my stairwell to dry, so I don't really have a measure for ya - maybe a tablespoon or two of freshly dried leaves, probably more if storebought)
Salt, few tsp lemon juice

Sautee carrots, onion and garlic in butter till onions are just turning translucent, then add the vinegar and cook until it's reduced by half. Add the broth, potatoes, and miso. Turn up the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so, until you can easily poke a knife through the potatoes and carrots (but they needn't be mushy).

Then puree with immersion blender or in batches in big blender, adding the kabocha and tarragon. I added the tarragon to one blender batch and let it puree for a really long time to break it up. Once pureed, add salt and lemon juice to adjust flavor.

*Notice how, out of respect for my Phoenician sisters, I didn't even say the word "fall"?

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