Yesterday we had the first part of a storm that was forecast to be snow, or sleet, possibly freezing rain, or maybe just rain depending on the track of the storm and the temperature. It's what's known in these parts as the wintry mix.
It snowed and sleeted most of the day without any significant accumulation but towards late afternoon the storm began to gather in earnest. Both my office and Mike's had early closings and we hurried home to make ready for the storm. I had groceries laid in (thereby sparing myself the hell that is a grocery store before a snowstorm), we built a fire, and spent the evening snug and warm, listening to weather reports and happily anticipating a snow day, or possibly even an ice day.
In the middle of the night I woke to the ping of sleet on the windows. Yes! Ice closes thing down faster than snow. I think I had the same sort of thrill of anticipation that I might have had at age ten hoping school would close.
This morning we woke to a couple of inches of snow with a frosting of sleet, and sleet still falling. As anticipated, neither of us had to go in to work. Snow day!
The making of soup is almost mandatory on snow days. The choice of this recipe was in large part dictated by what was on hand. It's a recipe I've looked at for ages but haven't been particularly interested in, mainly, I suppose, because I find cooked carrots freakishly and unpleasantly sweet and disturbingly mushy. I'm glad I put my prejudice aside though because this soup is fabulous. The sweetness of the carrots is balanced by both the heat of the jalapeno and cayenne, and the tanginess of the lime and crème fraîche.
This soup was so good that I'm feeling regretful that there's only a small amount to bring to work tomorrow for lunch. I'm also regretful that our snow day is over. The weather has cleared and it's now windy and bitterly cold. My least favorite winter weather.
Carrot Ginger Soup with Lime Crème Fraîche
1/2 cup crème fraîche
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 1 lime, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, roughly diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and roughly diced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut in coins
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
Make Lime Crème Fraîche:
1. Whisk lime juice, zest, and cilantro into crème fraîche. Add salt to taste.
1. Over medium heat, heat olive oil and then add onions, garlic, jalapeno, garlic, ginger and a small pinch of salt. Cook until onions are transluscent but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, another small pinch of salt, and cook for about five minutes more. Add 3 cups of broth and them simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Puree soup in blender until smooth. You may have to do this in batches. Pass through strainer into a clean saucepan. Reheat soup, adding additional broth to achieve the consistency you like. Season to taste with salt and cayenne.
3. Serve the soup with a dollop of the lime crème fraîche on top.
Note: In the original recipe, a turmeric and ginger infused oil was used with olive oil for cooking the onion mixture and then additional amounts were drizzled on top of the soup before serving. I had no turmeric so I skipped that step but if I'd had any I would have added a pinch when I was adding the onions.