Tag Archives: butter

Caramelized Carrot Soup

3 Jan

This post is coming to you a little later than I had originally hoped, but I have another new toy that I’ve been trying out, my Google Nexus 10. I’ve only had it for a little while, but so far I highly recommend it! Anyway, soup! Carrot soup is not something that I’ve eaten a whole lot of in my life, so I don’t have much basis for comparison. That being said, this soup was amazingly good! I suppose I shouldn’t expect any less from one of the most popular recipes in Modernist Cuisine.

This recipe utilizes what I consider to be one of the most intimidating and frightening pieces of equipment I’ve used, the pressure cooker. Now I have a feeling that most of my issues using the pressure cooker stems from my lack of experience with it (making this soup brings my total times cooking with it to two). I feel like the more I use it the less intimidating it will be, but it is required to make this soup, no ifs, ands, or buts. This recipe also gave my immersion blender one heck of a workout. While I highly recommend an immersion blender for this application, a traditional blender will get the job done in a pinch.

Here’s what else is needed to make soup:

  • Carrots (peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • Unsalted butter
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Carrot juice
  • Carotene butter

The only really negative thing I will say about this recipe is that the estimated time to make it is WAY off.  Since I made this after work one day, I made sure to cut all my carrots ahead of time.  Since that is really the only real prep work that needs to be done ahead of time, I’ll say that the 20 minutes of estimated prep time is pretty accurate.  However, the estimated time is only 40 minutes overall.  It took me at least that to make this soup even with the prep work already done.  The writers of Modernist Cuisine obviously didn’t take into account the fact that it takes upwards of 15 minutes just to get the pressure cooker up to operating temperature (or mine at least), and then 20 minutes of cooking after that.  But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s just say that this soup takes a little longer to prepare than the estimate time in the book.

So let’s get started!  Since the carrots were already chopped up, the first step is really simple.  I just let the butter melt in the pressure cooker over medium heat.  While that’s was melting, I mixed together the salt, baking soda, and water.  Once the butter was  melted, I threw the carrots and water mixture into the pot and gave it a good stir to coat all the carrots.  All to do afterwards is put the lid on the pressure cooker and let it do its thing.

When the carrots were done, I depressurized the cooker by running it under water.  This goes a lot quicker than I thought it would actually, so that was nice!  All that I did after that was use an immersion blender to turn the carrots into a smooth puree.

During the last minutes of cooking, I added the carrot juice to a separate pot to warm up.  Once I had my lovely puree ready, I stirred in the carrot juice to create soup.  The recipe says to add water, if necessary, but I found that I didn’t need any.  For good measure, I used the immersion blender some more to make sure the soup was really smooth.

Here’s where the Carotene Butter I made earlier this week comes into play.  It’s not enough that this recipe already has half a cup of butter in it.  Let’s add more!  At this point I worked in a couple tablespoons of the carotene butter with the immersion blender and added a little salt to taste.  And there’s soup!

This ended up making a very velvety, very delicious carrot soup.  We had it as a main course with some homemade bread and it was actually pretty filling, but certainly you could have this as one component of a larger meal.  It would be a very tasty complement to a winter salad as well.  I wish I had made a double recipe so that I could freeze it (oh yeah, this keeps in the freezer for up to two months!).  This is one that I’ll be making again sometime!

For next week, I’m going to go back and make the mac and cheese recipe that I didn’t get to make over the Christmas holidays.  My sodium citrate came in the mail this week so I’m very excited to see what it does!  But until then…

Bon Appetit!

Advertisements

Stove-Top Carotene Butter

3 Jan

So this week’s recipe, if you’ve been keeping up, is Caramelized Carrot Soup.  It sounds very tasty, but I have another recipe to make before I can make the soup.  Stove-Top Carotene Butter!

This is a pretty simple recipe, but it does require a good amount of time.  It’s definitely a must that it be made ahead of time for the soup.  The only special equipment required is an immersion blender, also called a stick blender in some circles.  In addition to being used the finish the soup for this week, The Modernist Cuisine suggests using it for cooking fish and shellfish, and for whisking into a warm vinaigrettes.  It keeps in the refrigerator for about two weeks, and if frozen it will keep for six months.  I’ll be keeping what I don’t use for the soup in the freezer since this isn’t something I see myself using very often.  At any rate, here’s what’s required:

  • Fresh carrot juice (I used store bought.  It came out fine, so if you don’t have a juicer don’t feel bad.)
  • Unsalted butter
ingredients

The Ingredients!

The first step is to heat the carrot juice (2 cups) over medium heat.  Once that comes to a simmer, start adding an entire box of unsalted butter one cube at a time and blending until melted.  Learn from my mistake!  Use a larger pot than what you think you’ll need.  An immersion blender needs some room to do it’s thing, and you don’t want to end up with carrot juice all over your stove like someone may or may not have.  🙂  After all the butter is combined into the juice, all you have to do is let is simmer for about 90 minutes.  So go do something else!

So, once you’ve cleaned your house, watched a little TV, played outside, or whatever it is that you felt like doing for an hour and a half, remove the butter/juice mixture from the heat and mix in another cup of carrot juice.  Then, just transfer it to a container and refrigerate overnight so the butterfat can separate from the juice.  Once that’s done the mixture should look something like this.

separated butter

Separated Goodness!

To be fair, this doesn’t look all that appetizing.  But plain butter doesn’t look all that appetizing to me either, so there’s that.  If you used freshly juiced carrot juice, you’ll want to scoop out the butterfat and warm it back up, running it through a fine sieve and/or cheesecloth after it’s melted again.  If you used store bought carrot juice, this isn’t really necessary unless you’re me and want your butter to fit nicely into it’s final container.  So, scoop the butter off the top and there you go.

finished butter

Finished Butter

The finished butter is very soft!  You can tell by the finger divots in mine. (Yes I poked it…don’t judge me!)  It definitely smells of carrots, and I’m looking forward to trying it later this week when I make the soup.  I guess that’s it for now though.

Stay tuned!  Bon Appetit!