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Carrot Soup with Chicken and Thyme

For this carrot soup recipe, pick up a bunch of fresh-dug lovelies at your farmer’s market, whenever possible, to achieve the most vibrant carrot taste. The carrots are slowly stewed, which coaxes out their sweetness. A little potato gives this soup its velvety-smooth texture.–Mindy Fox

LC Pantry Pyrotechnics Note

The most remarkable thing about this stunning soup, besides it’s vibrant hue and sweet taste, is that it comes together from nothing but pantry staples at a cost of, oh, about $3.45 for the whole shebang. Although this Technicolor soup doesn’t really need any embellishment, it’s far more fetching when you include a little flourish, especially when it’s as simple as some roast chicken. Since when did leftover hen ever seem so chic?

Carrot Soup Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut crossways into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 pound new or Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Fine sea salt
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • Pinch or two of sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded roast or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground peppercorns, preferably white
  • 1 lemon, halved

Directions

  • 1. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. (This is commonly known as “sweating” the onion, as the pieces will throw off some perspiration, er, moisture and will soften and sweeten but not brown.)
  • 2. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, covered, for 10 minutes more.
  • 3. Add the stock or broth, increase the heat to medium, and gently simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or let the soup cool for about 10 minutes and then purée it in a blender, working in batches if necessary. Return the soup to the pan and gently reheat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a pinch or two of sugar to sweeten the soup, if desired.
  • 4. Divide the soup among serving bowls. Top each portion with some chicken, a pinch each of thyme leaves and coarsely or finely ground white pepper, and, if you’d like a little something sour to offset the sweet, a scant drop or two of juice from half the lemon. Cut the other half of the lemon into 4 thin slices and garnish each bowl with a slice, just to make it look a little extra lovely.
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