I made this to start our Christmas dinner and it was so good that I’m making it again today to start our New Year’s Eve dinner tonight. I think it will be perfect. Our kids have all gone back to Manhattan and we are having dear friends and my brother and his wife for an intimate dinner party here in the country.
My brother is bringing caviar and champagne (I’m so excited!) as well as the red wine for dinner. (He is our expert wine pairer for this blog and has even started his own blog, www.wineandfoodpairings.net, so check it out when you have a chance.) Margaret is bringing an appetizer and I want to do a lovely but simple dinner that will allow me to be out of the kitchen and in front of the fire, partying!
So we will start with this clean tasting and delicious soup. I plan to garnishing it with a little chopped cilantro and a few toasted pepita seeds. The original recipe is from the Hay Day Country Market Cookbook and I have made it many times in the past. Prior to this trauma with our son, I would have made this with chicken broth, using 4 tbs. of butter and garnished it with crème fraiche. See how low fat it became with 2 tbs. of butter, 1 tbs. of olive oil, vegetable broth and no crème fraiche? And, no loss of flavor to boot, I think we all should be eating this way! So much better for you.
I also only used 1 ounce of fresh ginger as we wanted it mellow on the spice for Zach. If you want it spicier, use 2 ounces. We are going to splurge on the main course with spice grilled rib steaks, BUT I’m pairing them with steamed snow pea pods with shiitake mushrooms and only the mushrooms will have a bit of butter, and potatoes Anna with only a tablespoon of butter, because I make it in a skillet on the stove top. Christmas cookies for dessert, along with some fresh blackberries and mango sorbet for my gluten-free sister-in-law, will finish off this year.
What do you plan to make?
Happy New Year to you all – wishing you great health, peace, wealth and LOVE!!
GINGER CARROT SOUP – serves 6
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 – 2 oz. piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 lbs. of fresh carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 1” pieces
1 cup of dry white wine
5 cups of vegetable stock – homemade or low sodium boxed
½ tsp. salt or to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Toasted and salted pepita seeds for garnish
Warm the olive oil and melt the butter in it. Add the minced ginger and sauté on low heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant. Do not brown. Add the carrots and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Add the wine and turn heat to medium high. Let the wine come to a simmer, after 1 or 2 minutes add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, partially covered and cook until the carrots are very soft, about 30 – 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes, longer is even better.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and a few toasted and salted pepita seeds, if desired.