Love the definition of Potage Crécy I recently came across: “French for it’s cold outside — you need some creamy carrot soup.”
Creamy carrot soup it is.
Last week, while I was posting ‘lean and clean’ spring chicken on my facebook page (what an oops that was), the rest of the world was posting comfort and warmth.
Just as it was occurring to sleepy me that the better part of North America was in a deep freeze, (the three hour time difference doesn’t help), my brother emailed a picture of his co-worker’s husky dog curled up in the fetal position outside in the snow (when a husky’s seeking comfort from the cold… you know it ain’t pretty). It was -35 C /-31 F at home that day.
There are plenty of things I miss about Canada but frozen eyelash weather isn’t generally one of them.
Still, I do think about the northern winters often enough.
I miss the fresh fallen snow and the feeling of burying myself deep in the forest. Those sacred places where you can feel your mind quiet and hear your heart beat against the stillness of nature.
On those snow heavy days when the landscape was covered white, we would spend the better part of the daylight hours skiing through the back-trails of the Gatineau Hills, and often recover with a bone warming pot of soup at the Chelsea Pub.It’s hard to beat the charisma of soup on a cold winter’s day.
While I can’t say that the carrots used in this potage were sourced from the Crécy region of France (reputed to be among the best tasting carrots in the world and who doesn’t love saying the words potage Crécy), we did find our organic California grown carrots to be a perfectly delicious stand-in.
Bold, aromatic, thick and satisfying, we loved this bowl of goodness. The gingered broth in tandem with the banana and coconut lend a distinctively Caribbean touch to this winter curry and I’m thinking a taste of island sunshine might be welcome right about now.
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ tsp ground garam masala
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- pinch ground cayenne pepper, it's hot so use accordingly
- 1 large nub of ginger, finely grated (I used about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 pound (450 g) carrots (about 4 cups), chopped or simply use baby carrots
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (you could microwave to soften if easier - see notes)
- 1 banana, peeled and chopped (substitute ½ cup apple sauce or 2 tsp brown sugar)
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
- 1 cup (or more) coconut milk
- dash cinnamon or nutmeg for topping
- In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in a little bit of olive over low-medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.
- Sprinkle dry seasonings (garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne) over the onion and garlic as they cook, mixing with a wooden spoon to integrate the flavors.
- Add chicken or vegetable broth and coconut milk to the skillet with seasoned onion/garlic
- Add carrots, sweet potato and banana to the skillet (the liquid should mostly cover the vegetables/fruit) if it doesn't simply add a little coconut milk (or fluid of choice)
- Allow carrots, sweet potato and banana to simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are barely soft (al dente)
- Add ginger to the skillet and mix to combine
- When vegetables are al dente, remove skillet from heat and allow it to cool somewhat before carefully transferring contents into a blender/food processor to purée to desired consistency. You can do this in batches if easier. Work carefully as the fluid will still be warm.
- If the consistency of the mixture is too thick after blending, simply add some chicken/veg stock or coconut milk to dilute. You could also add water or milk beverage of choice if preferred.
- Be sure to taste the soup to make any seasoning adjustments.
- Once desired consistency is achieved, carefully transfer the puréed soup back to the skillet to serve in individual bowls topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg (as desired) or cool fully before storing in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
2) The ginger and cayenne bring distinctive flavor and heat to the soup -- I find them delicious and welcome but you can reduce the quantity or omit as desired.
3) If you find it difficult to cube an uncooked sweet potato (they can be quite hard), simply soften it in the microwave. (You can leave the peel on for this - that too will be easier to shed once softened).
1) Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and fiber and they also lead the vegetable pack with their concentration of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. In tandem with carrots in this recipe, they bring a whopping concentration of beta-carotene which studies suggest can help guard against certain cancers and heart disease.
2) Curcumin, the active bright yellow pigment found in turmeric, is revered for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is thought to protect against cancer by inhibiting tumor formation and cell growth.