Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup Recipe


March was a bit of a whirlwind. The entire month went by in a blur of planes, trains, friends, and house guests. That's a round-about way of saying, I'm still trying to get my head above water. My suitcase has been on the floor in the middle of our bedroom since Saturday, still fully packed. My in-box is an embarrassment. To say I've been keeping it simple in the kitchen is an understatement. This basic carrot soup for example - I threw it together the other night using the best carrots I could find at the market and not much else. It's easy enough to make on a weeknight, and instead of getting complicated on the front end of a soup like this, I typically let any creative whims come into play just before serving. In this case I drizzled the finished soup with a potent thread of toasted sesame oil, other times I've used a fiery olive oil infused with crushed red pepper flakes, another time a thinned-out oregano pesto. You can leave it slightly chunky, or puree it until smooth - whatever your preference.

Carrot Soup Recipe

As many of you already know, I'm not one for making more work than necessary in the kitchen. And as long as we are confessing, I don't usually bother peeling carrots. If they are particularly dirty or have skin thicker or rougher than I like, I just give them a good scrub with the rough side of a sponge. It acts like a loofah, and usually does the trick.

If you like more crunch or texture in your soup try pan-fried paneer or halloumi cubes in this soup - in place of croutons. I like croutons too, and did a bowl with lots of garlicky croutons and chopped up fried egg the other day. No one was complaining.

 
 
 
 

Carrot Soup Recipe

I typically seek out "early" carrots with the bushy green tops still on. The leaves should be fresh and not wilted, and the carrots should have vibrant color. If they feel rubbery, pass on them. I pass on bagged carrots or the big, woody ones - the early carrots often have a much sweeter flavor.

1 1/4 pounds carrots
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cups+ vegetable stock or water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
fine grain sea salt (as much as you need)

- olive oil, toasted sesame oil, or red chile oil for a finishing drizzle - if you use toasted sesame oil (sometimes labeled pure sesame oil) it is very strong. I typically dilute it with olive oil. I use one part sesame oil to four parts olive oil.

Take the tops off the carrots (if they have tops) and give them a good scrub. Cut them into 1-inch segments and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the stock and carrots and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender - longer if your carrot pieces ended up larger. But try not to overcook. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.

Puree with a hand blender (sometimes I leave the soup a bit chunky, other times I go completely smooth) - then stir in the lemon juice. Now salt to taste. If you used a salty veggie stock, you might just need a little salt. If you used water, you'll need quite a bit more. Keep adding a few pinches at a time until the carrot flavor really pops. If it tastes flat or dull, keep adding.

Finish with a drizzle of great extra-virgin olive oil, one of the other drizzles I mention up above, or whatever twist you come up with.

Serves about 4.

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Your Comments


inadobo
April 8, 2009

Of all the vegetables, carrots are my least favorite. The cooked version, that is. I love raw carrots.

However, your post has talked me into putting this on my "to try" list.

 

megan
April 8, 2009

Sounds good! We are getting some great carrots in our CSA box right now, so I'll have to try this one.

 

Alisa - Frugal Foodie
April 8, 2009

I must have my carrots everyday, and this looks like a lovely new way to enjoy them! Thanks for the recipe idea.

 

Amy
April 9, 2009

This sounds amazing, and I can even make it in Korea (which basically means "yay, they have carrots in Korea!")!

Awesome, doing it tonight. Man, I love your blog so much.

 

Michele
April 9, 2009

Thank you so much for this! Here in Finland, where the snow is still melting, nothing is in season yet and my root veggie inspiration has been running out. On that note, I tried your Rustic Cabbage Soup last week and LOVED it. This one's next on the list!

 

Stacey
April 9, 2009

I make a similar carrot based soup quite often as I am a student and like to eat simple healthy soups that don't take much time.

Some variations I also have enjoyed are by throwing in a whole anise star and grated ginger in the saute phase...or I've added a tomato (or two) until they fall apart then add a little curry powder.

 

Erwin Heiser
April 9, 2009

For an ever deeper carrot flavour start by sauteeing the carrots (in olive oil or butter ghee) until they are halfway soft then proceed with the recipe as above.

 

Nirvana
April 9, 2009

I love, love, love carrot soup! I haven't had any in ages -- you've inspired me :)

 

Deb
April 9, 2009

I love carrots, love carrot soup, and any thing made with carrots. I never peeled my carrots for years and for some reason decided to peel them one day. The carrot dish was much sweeter so I have always peeled them since. I like shortcuts also, but peeling the carrots is worth the extra step.

 

Gina
April 9, 2009

Sounds like it'd be awesome pureed too :)

 

Deena
April 9, 2009

Hi Heidi,

I was reading this article about the earliest cookbook by an African-American woman, and thought you would be interested: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/dining/21cook.html

Best,
Deena

 

Michele Morris
April 9, 2009

Anther great spring soup is a creamy spring pea soup - I picked up the recipe from Susan Hermann Loomis at her cooking school in France and will be cooking it tonight for a cooking dinner party. I plan to post it on my site tomorrow - after I polish off the leftovers for lunch!

 

Kimberly
April 9, 2009

I made something similar to this a few weeks ago but I roasted the carrots first, which I highly recommend:
http://mostlysoup.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/roasted-carrot-soup/

I love the idea of topping with a pesto oil of some kind, will totally try that next time....

 

I have never thought to add lemon to my carrot soup. I always go the carrot ginger way. Going to try this.

 

Trish
April 9, 2009

Yep....I too make a similar soup. And at the end of every week and before the next 'fresh veggies' shopping I clear out the 'bin' and make soups. Most often carrots find their way into the soup, sometimes even making a solo experience..grin. I like to add a bit of cauliflower for more texture.

 

Trreehouse Chef
April 9, 2009

Carrots need very little to be delicious in soup. Fresh carrots are so sweet and tasty.

 

When I was into macrobiotics I stopped peeling carrots, like your suggestion. What freedom!

 

meleyna
April 9, 2009

I made a carrot ginger soup with coconut milk all the time. I mostly do it in the winter warm, but have been thinking about doing it chilled this summer it's so good.

 

hadley
April 9, 2009

This looks amazing! Can't wait to try it this weekend.

 

Laura [What I Like]
April 9, 2009

Love carrot soup, and this one looks fantastic! I always throw in some ginger and finish it with coconut milk.

 

Jason
April 9, 2009

Spectacular blog, Heidi! I applaud the non-peeling of the carrots in this recipe and the photo is great - but then again, they all are! Not enough is said about your photography, truly.

I have to admit, my eye is drawn to that beautiful wood table. Simply gorgeous!

 

Erin
April 9, 2009

What a gorgeous bowl of soup. I love carrots and am always on the lookout for a new way to use them.

 

"As much salt as you need" -- that's an indication of a no-nonsense, no-time-to-spare recipe. : ) I bet the lemon in this really brighten the flavor and lightens it. The first of our local markets has recently risen out of winter dormancy (not a day too soon), and though there are no carrots yet, it won't be long. Thanks for the recipe!

 

veggievixen
April 9, 2009

that's pretty darn awesome for being overwhelmed with other things...i think of carrot soup as delicious and totally comforting. it seems like a really versatile recipe too. i love that you put a squeeze of lemon in here.

 

CamilleB.
April 9, 2009

Mmm, I juste LOVE carrot soupe. However, I've tried two other versions which are just hallucinanting ! Besides from adding water, I've added brazilian or thaï "coconut milk" (the white one, not the one you drink with the coconut itself) and some fresh coriander choppend on top of it. In the second one, I add table cream or heavy cream and somme cinammon. Believe me, it's just delicious !

 

Angela@Spinach Tiger
April 9, 2009

I like the chunkiness of your soup. I make carrot soup all the time. I recently made a pumpkin carrot soup with a lot of heat that was delicious. Aren't the simple things in life the best?

 

gardenapprentice
April 9, 2009

This message is to anyone who has tried it:
Does it taste anything like an Indian Cuisine dish? The best carrot soup I've ever tried was Indian Cuisine; I'd love to get my hands on that recipe. Anyone have it?
flower_gurl

 

Gayatri
April 9, 2009

Love the idea..How about adding some curry powder, and a bay leaf for a different flavor? Or, I might even try it with yellow/red thai curry paste and kaffir lime leaves...
Thanks for the inspiration..

 

Rebecca
April 9, 2009

I really appreciate that you are willing to encourage people not to peel vegetables. I think the only vegetable I regularly peel is jicama. Thank you for encouraging this practice, especially with carrots that really don't have a peel to remove. :)

 

Lindsey
April 9, 2009

mmm... I love soup recipes that require only a few ingredients..and it's very frugal too. thank you!

 

Anonymous
April 9, 2009

That's so easy!

I love soups like that when they are totally pureed and really smooth.

That would be great with a grilled cheese sammy!

 

Sina
April 9, 2009

One of my favorite foodie moments from childhood was eating my grandfather's carrot soup. He called it cressy, and he loved sprinkling popcorn on top instead of croutons. I make it most years at Thanksgiving and I've used all sort of add-ins. Yours is very similar...his called for a good pour of cream, but in mine I like just the smallest touch. Thanks for calling forth a great memory!

 

alice
April 9, 2009

Hmm.. I love carrots, and the recipe sounds great. I have to be honest -- the visual of the soup makes me a little dubious, though.

 

Dominique
April 9, 2009

I did a carrot soup this morning too! with an orange juice and a teaspoon of curry powder... delicious!

 

Jodye
April 9, 2009

This soup looks delicious, and as it is the fourth or fifth carrot soup I've seen around the blogs lately, I've decided that I simply must try it!

 

lauren
April 9, 2009

i just found out the greens on top of the carrotts are edible and really good for you. great for compost, too, but before they all return to dirt, add some to soups, salads, and mexican dishes. ;) I love this blog!

My CSA membership always gets more exciting because of these wonderful recipes. thanks

 

Deana Gunn
April 9, 2009

I'm also a fan of unpeeled carrots - beautiful, fresh, organic carrots: why peel?
I usually make carrot soup something like this, or I make carrot soup with coconut milk and a little curry powder.
The thought of a soup bowl with croutons and cut up fried eggs sounds delicious to me.

 

nithya at hungrydesi
April 9, 2009

sounds great...we had a cold snap in NY earlier this week and made your roasted tomato soup - yummy! thanks :-)

 

david
April 9, 2009

I made a similar carrot soup several weeks ago and topped it with balsamic--very good.

 

Kobie
April 9, 2009

Hi Heidi
thanks for this recipe.I made something similar recently, and think adding onions and lemon juice is a great idea.You have inspired me to go and have a look for quinoa at my local health shop, so your quinoa recipes are next on my list!

 

Karen Harbour
April 9, 2009

It's probably really good cold too!

 

Karen
April 9, 2009

Hooray for no peel! So much easier and so many more nutrients;-) I make a soup like Deana using coconut milk and curry. Super creamy and delish. http://cook4seasons.com/archives/creamy-carrot-curry-soup/

 

unconfidentialcook
April 9, 2009

I love the toasted sesame oil drizzle! I also like to add fennel to carrot soup...

 

This would be so good pureed with some cream to finish it off...yum:)

 

Elizabeth
April 9, 2009

I have been following your site since my husband found it in a newspaper article about six months ago. I love your writing and the pictures are lovely. I finally got around to trying a recipe (there are so many that I want to try). I made the Cottage Cheese Muffins and they were absolutely delightful. Love the texture and all the wonderful flavors, none overwhelming their counterparts. Can't wait to try more!

 

Cate
April 9, 2009

I make something similar except I let the onions brown. I also add red lentils and reduce carrots. Then serve with curried croutons. Puree thick or thin and add mile if you like. Lemon juice is great in red lentil soups as well.

 

Cate
April 9, 2009

I meant to say add 'milk' not mile!

 

s. stockwell
April 9, 2009

This may have everyone shouting, "What's up Doc?"...just like Bugs Bunny? Looks like something I could do for one of the lunches for the big crowd of relatives that will be landing on Friday? As always, you cook! best, s

 

Christina
April 9, 2009

Yum! This looks perfect for a Summer afternoon, or even a chilly Fall evening! I just discovered the difference adding the juice of a lemon to soup can make! Glad to see it featured here, too!

 

Lick My Spoon
April 9, 2009

This is a perfect excuse for people to get off their seats, go outside, and head out to their local farmer's market. And the exercise would have worked up a healthy appetite on the way home.

 

Hilda
April 9, 2009

Thank you!!

I have tried this recipe (with modifications for one serving) and it's great. Since I was afraid of the "blandness", I added a bit of red paper (powder) and this gave it a kick. The lemon juice really does give it a great taste. I added a bit of squash and boiled peanuts to the boiling carrots. And to top it all off, 1/4 cup of peas before serving.

 

Sarah M. Isaacson
April 9, 2009

I JUST made carrot soup two days ago and really like what I see in your recipe. Heads up to people, if you are lazy like me and think you can "chop" your carrots in the food processor and THEN cook them--you will never be able to later puree them to smooth. You will always have a very chunky texture. For some reason, I forget about this...

 

Anna
April 9, 2009

Thanks for the confession--I too don't peel carrots unless I have to! This recipe looks lovely. I adore carrots in all their guises.

 

Jessica
April 9, 2009

I happened to buy 2 pounds of carrots today. After checking my email and seeing the recipe, I decided to try it. Even though I hate cooked carrots, turned out good. I am a college student abroad so anything cheap and good for you is a must. Thanks!

 

I sometimes make a recipe like this with less water and call it a dip. I'm always worried someone will notice it's really baby food, but they usually like it. This is my sweet and sour version

Ana Sortun makes a dip with harissa and cumin and ginger in her cookbook SPICE - bet the flavor combo would translate well to soup...

 

Alison
April 9, 2009

Heidi,

It was great to meet you in person in Denver. I love this recipe and so many. I can't wait to try this one! Best, Alison

 

Erin Joy
April 9, 2009

Was thrilled to read that you don't peel your carrots! I've gotten some strange looks and perplexed comments from people. I don't peel my carrots partially because I can't be bothered, but mostly because I actually really enjoy the earthy flavor the skin provides.

Recipe looks great. Thanks, Heidi!

 

Kay
April 9, 2009

Just cooked it. Easy, tasty with a sesame twist...loved it!

 

Kathy B
April 9, 2009

Yummy sounding soup...I have two variations that I like making, one witha heavy dose of fresh chopped ginger which gets sauteed withe onions, the other with a handful of dill pureed with the soup.

I live on the East Coast and I find that good organic "winter" carrots (that is the same as "storage" carrots) of which I had 15 lbs in my winter CSA share, are very often sweeter than "fresh" dug carrots sold with their tops, in particular the ones that have been imported to us from California or South America. The "fresh" dug carrots have a different taste, a little sharper in nature, but I wouldn't call it sweeter. Of course, looking at these two kinds of carrots, it is also apparent that they are grown from different varieties of seeds.

 

Angie
April 9, 2009

Don't apologize for not peeling your carrots! According to Rebecca Wood in her book "The Complete Whole Foods Encyclopedia", the majority of the carrot's vitamins and minerals are concentrated in or directly beneath the skin. So, scrub away, and enjoy!

 

Adrienne Casco
April 9, 2009

We're in the desert in our camper, and I have some of those green-topped pre-cooked carrot coins in a freezer bag. A great thought for tonight's dinner, with some caramelize onions, chopped candied ginger and a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. Thanks, everyone for the additional ideas!

 

Erin Ferree
April 9, 2009

Looks tasty. I made a carrot soup similar to this the other day, and garnished it with a lovely harissa paste.

 

Wade B
April 9, 2009

Personal story (carrot soup related):

When I was about 4, I hated tomatoes, but I liked carrots. I was having dinner at my Aunt's house one time and they were having tomato soup. Knowing I didn't like tomatoes, my older cousin told me it was carrot soup. I had 2 bowls.

I'm sure I'll like this *carrot* soup, too : )

 

meera
April 9, 2009

Heidi,
Could you explain your stance on clarified butter? The idea appeals to me immensely but I do not know the cholestrol risk with clarified butter, even if traditionally (in India) the use of a teaspoon of clarified butter everyday is considered healthy for the organs...

 

Susan
April 9, 2009

I make a similar carrot soup but add fresh marjoram to brighten up the flavor. Time to make it again - thanks for the reminder!

I once took it to a potluck and everyone assumed it was Butternut Squash Soup. Surprise!

 

Emily
April 9, 2009

Whole Foods has had the best carrots lately. This sounds like a perfect way to use some of them up.

 

Growing up, my mother made a lot of simple vegetable soups like this. She was lactose-intolerant, so when going to restaurants and sampling rich, cream-based soups, I never found they had the same depth of flavor. There is really something to be said for staying true to the integrity of vegetables, especially ones with a high starch content like carrots. you'll find that on their own, with no thickener or cream, they can be as texturally rich and velvety than any heavy bisque.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful carrot soup! If you are interested in a similar pure blend of the green veg variety, please check out my green goddess soup with zucchini, chard, and cilantro!

 

N.Balasubramanian
April 9, 2009

A good article as to how to prepair carrot soup in these days of hot sun as carrots have a cooling effect on the body .I will surely try this out.

 

Johanna
April 10, 2009

I am not usually a fan of carrot soup but it looks so bright and cheerful and I recently found a recipe for carrot miso soup with white miso and I garnished it with arame seaweed which really added to the flavour of the carrot

http://gggiraffe.blogspot.com/2009/04/carrot-miso-soup.html

 

Sammy
April 10, 2009

I love carrot soup and I love your work! I can't thank you enough for doing what you do. It sounds weird, but I also like freshly grated nutmeg and dried mint (both at the same time) in carrot soup.

 

Alyssa
April 10, 2009

I've done a similar soup with a coriander-spiced yogurt on top. Such a versatile soup. I love your recipes and they inspire me to want to cook more.

 

Angela
April 10, 2009

I like to do a soup exactly like this, but I add a little bit of grated ginger, it's just perfect!

 

MC
April 10, 2009

I made your carrot soup last night and it was amazing. Thank you for the scrubbing- with-the-rough-side-of-the-sponge tip; worked like a charm and much better than peeling.
I added several slices of fresh ginger to the pot as I sauteed the onions/garlic and it really worked with the toasted sesame oil.
Divine.

 

Marc
April 10, 2009

Sounds good. Though I am not a big carrot fan, they seem to always be around. You mentioned adding some fried paneer, which sound promising, however, due to where I live, there are limited options for what kind of cheese to use and making our own will put a damper on the process. Any suggestions?

 

Claudia in India
April 10, 2009

This reminds me of a simple soup I used to cook in India. Carrots and cauliflower, steamed together with a good boullion cube, blended with a very generous handful of cilantro and the cooking water. Salt and ghee to taste.

 

What a perfect soup for the bunny-lovin' weekend! A dash of toasted cumin and fresh black pepper and I'm all set :-)

 

Tipping Point Photo
April 11, 2009

Thank you for this recipe! Threw it together last night--mmmmmmmm, tasty! Even my husband loved it. It's a keeper. :o)

 

Jackie
April 11, 2009

Sounds delicious. I'm going to give it a shot this weekend, since I have an insane amount of carrots from the co-op.

 

WithASong
April 11, 2009

I was raised by farmers when I was a youth (which is very long ago now), and I was told that the skin of carrots is bitter. I note that some of your reviewers say that it is sweeter if the carrots are peeled, and I have to say that their comment agrees with my old folks at home long ago. As long as the carrots are from organic farms, they may be safe enough to leave unpeeled, but if they are from an ordinary grocery in the US and are from non-organic commercial farms, I'd say peel them for health and safety.

I note one reviewer used seaweed with their carrot soup and said it tasted better. Most people don't know that kombu seaweed (like that traditionally used in dashi for miso soup) is a dense source of natural MSG and is what helps make traditional miso soups tasty. Kombu seaweed was the first identified source of MSG when Prof. Ikeda in Japan in the early 1900's was trying to find out what impact the seaweed was having on dashi (he thought this "umami" was the fifth sense of taste), since the seaweed was well known to improve the taste of the dashi. Many people seem scared of it these days through often repeated tales about people who may be just allergic to it, though they themselves freely use kombu not realizing that they are putting into their soup something about which they are otherwise scared by tales of the allergic ("some" people who are allergic do not equal everybody). Kombu & MSG do indeed make things taste better (but not sweets), and organic, natural sources like kombu are probably more preferred than the synthetic crystals that are manufactured from other plants. The oldtime scare just doesn't have a lot of credibility if Asian cultures have been using natural MSG through kombu, etc., for hundreds of years & they are models of health. Don't let these ideas scare you, as kombu has been proven quite safe by millions of Asians and others (don't use synthetic sources if you're concerned; use natural). Mushrooms, tomatoes & parmesan cheese are other natural sources which have a LOT of it & people are not being harmed by eating them. Mother's milk has 10 times more natural MSG than cow's milk, and there just might be a good reason (hint: taste). I use kombu seaweed in my soups (especially miso) and I applaud the use of it in this wonderfully natural carrot soup, as I am sure it will taste better without a need to add much salt (besides, MSG has 30% of the sodium of salt, which makes kombu a healthier alternative compared to adding salt).

 

J
April 11, 2009

I made this last night and it was very bitter - so do peel the carrots first!!! Different carrot varieties may have more or less bitter skin and this might explain why there is a difference in opinion.

 

Connie
April 11, 2009

Heidi, the recipes, the photos, the articles, and the community that you've put together here make it one of my daily stops around the internet. I've never commented before, but I finally went out and bought the cookbook in a small way of saying Thank You.

I regularly send links to friends and family, and often find myself just dreamily sighing as I stare at the page.

Thanks again :)

 

zestycook
April 11, 2009

Excellent Recipe Heidi... looks so earthy and flavorful. Great picture!

 

kim
April 11, 2009

yum! i would definitley opt for the extra-virgin olive oil, or maybe even sesame or walnut oil - have you tried the ones from la tourangelle? so great - as always, thanks for the inspiring food ideas!

 

il ramaiolo
April 11, 2009

My boyfriend loves carrots, I cook with extra virgin oil from Toscana in Italy!! Compliments!! By

 

Carol
April 12, 2009

Any ideas about things to do with those gorgeous greens that top the carrots? Usually I dry them and use them as a garnish or put them in stews, much like you would with parsley.

 

Would you use cinnamon in this soup as well?

HS: You could! Or curry powder, or a bit of Thai curry paste or chopped fresh herbs - there are a lot of ways you might take it.

 

Melissa
April 13, 2009

This meal was quite simple, and we I loved it! I used carrots and some parsnips. After they cooked I used my mixer instead of mashing them, which left a nice chunky texture.

 

Anna
April 13, 2009

This looks delicious. I love carrot soup! It will be months before we have carrots in the garden here in Maine, but I have found that late season carrots are also very sweet if they are left in the ground after a frost or two. I guess the carrots convert their starch into sugar or something like that.

 

Rebecca Reid
April 13, 2009

This looks tastier than my carrot soup...just simple things make it better! Thanks for this.

 

Kristi
April 14, 2009

I LOVE this recipe. In fact, I'm making a triple batch of it now to last me. It's amazing how hearty it is though it's made of only veggies. Thank you for sharing :o) PS - Your cookbook rocks, too!

 

Cookin' Canuck
April 14, 2009

I love carrot soup and I particularly love to pair the sweetness of the carrots with a little curry powder. Thank you for a new recipe.

http://cookincanuck.blogspot.com

 

Nidhi
April 14, 2009

sounds delicious. instead of paneer, how would it be with pan fried tofu instead??

HS: Hi Nidhi - I think that could absolutely work.

 

Mia
April 15, 2009

mmmmmm this looks lovely! Just got back from CYPRUS where I also had a beautiful carrot soup(among all the other fabulous dishes there..)which was pureed with potatoes..thats as much as I could discover..! :)

 

Cristin
April 15, 2009

I made this last night and it was great - so simple! I skipped the croutons and just served it with some crunchy bread...yum!

 

Brenda
April 16, 2009

I made this on a whim yesterday - using my newly purchased food processor. I roasted a head of garlic and added it to the carrots and shallots, leaving it slightly chunky and delicious. 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup filtered water was the perfect amount - of course, a little half and half cream (1/3 cup) stirred into the finished soup made it divine! I love those early season carrots - sweet and bright orange!

 

Holly Warner
April 17, 2009

Instead of oil (olive OR sesame) I do this soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, and two or three cilantro leaves, just before serving.