Saturday, July 16, 2011

Spicy Carrot Soup

Spices are inspired from the Caribbean mixture of American, African and Asian cuisine. Though I first tasted from the menu a fancy Italian restaurant in Berkeley, California, at the beginning of a summer vacation trip back east. The hint of curry comes from cardamom and turmeric. Allspice is Caribbean, and I picked up whole allspice berries from West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio, on the same trip. Vegetable base is onion and carrot, with potato for thickening; all roots that keep well. Cooked during the vacation, and adjusted spices back home.

1 onion, chopped
8 carrots, chopped
1 potato, peeled, chopped
1/4 tsp allspice berries, ground
6-12 pods green cardamom seeds, ground
1/8 tsp black peppercorn, ground
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp salt

To grind whole spices: Remove cardamom seeds from pods, and grind allspice berries, black peppercorn and cardamon seeds. Set aside. This step can be done while browning onions, along with prepping the main ingredients.
To start base: Brown onion, lowering heat once it colors, 10-12 min. Add splash of water, carrot and potato, and simmer 10-15 min, adding water as necessary. Result should be soft vegetables. Puree in blender and return to pot. Add spices and continue simmer 30 min.
Finish: Garnish with croutons and fresh parsley or cilantro.

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