I’m in day 3 of the kids back at school and it is amazing how much more I can get done when I have hours of time to be creative in silence and just cook the way I want to without someone asking me to do anything for them or take them somewhere. Up until this week, I’ve been working in small pockets of time for the last 13 years. With Eli finally in all-day school (hurray for 1st grade!), no more twenty minutes here, 10 minutes there. My work flow had been crazy chaotic and staying up until 2am most nights to get work done become normal for me – which isn’t normal at all since sleep deprivation and I have never got along at all.
But today has been glorious. To bake and cook for hours for the simple joy of being able to is so liberating. Not to mention, I’m able to be more creative in my culinary pursuits.
There is no tougher food critic in my family than myself. My bar is high and often times when other people love and rave about my cooking, I still want to push myself towards even better – which is why I’m so excited to share today’s soup recipe with you.
I am a lover of laying flavors when making soup so that when I serve soup to others, the feedback is usually only oohs and aws. Pureed soup should be beautifully complex in flavor yet the main ingredient should shine through supported by an orchestra of other flavor notes all coming together for a memorable course.
This particular autumn carrot basil soup tastes indulgent and satisfying in the same way a person feels when they enjoy a very nice meal at an a very expensive restaurant.
Made with hints of autumn spices along with hints of heat from the red curry paste, this soup is exceptional – if I do say so myself. The basil is just another layer of flavor which isn’t super strong yet is subtlety there and adds depth to the soup. There coconut milk adds a richness to the soup without being a dominate flavor. The sherry rounds everything out and elevates the soup just a notch.
If you have a need to spoil yourself or need to impress someone for dinner this is the soup for you. This recipe makes about six cups of soup which can easily serve 6 people as a starter course or 3-4 people as a main dish – which I would serve with crusty warm rustic bread.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 pound shredded carrots
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Asian coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- In a large heavy bottom soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and continue to saute for an additional five minutes, stirring occasionally until the carrots are soft.
- Stir in the curry paste, salt, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Stir in the chicken broth, Asian coconut milk, and dry sherry.
- Bring the soup to boil and then turn down the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook the soup for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the basil and place the lid back on.
- Allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the soup to a blender. With the lid securely on and the vent slightly opened, puree the soup until smooth and the basil is un-noticable.
- Serve warm and garnish with a few drops of coconut milk and fresh basil leaves.