In elementary school I always dreaded the mound of peas and carrots in the corner of my cafeteria tray. While I loved fresh peas and carrots, the combo totally lost its charm when cooked down to mush. This week we sought to reinterpret some classic cafeteria food dishes in our plant-based cuisine class, and I took on the dreaded mushy-veg combo. Since it still feels a bit wintery in Providence (at least to my NOLA-calibrated self), I chose to make this warmly-spiced carrot soup. Snow peas and snap peas aren’t quite in season yet, so I garnished the soup with pea greens and flowers, but I suspect it would be a wonderful foil for fresh peas when the time comes.
Caramelized Carrot Soup
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
- 2.5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- Plain yogurt
- Pea greens, sweet pea flowers, or snap peas as garnish
- Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker, stirring briefly to distribute the spices. Cook for 12-15 minutes (the carrots will be perfectly tender after ~10 minutes, any additional time deepens the flavor).
- Allow carrots to cool slightly, then pour into a blender. Add stock gradually until soup reaches desired consistency.
- Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and whatever pea plant bits you can find.
While I’ve only made this soup with a pressure cooker, I’m sure it could also be made by roasting the carrots in a dutch oven on the stovetop though they’ll take a bit longer to cook this way, and you may need to add more water to keep them from sticking to the pan.