Friday, October 16, 2009

Peas and Carrots yin yang soup

Carrots are ubiquitous in my cooking usually as one of the trilogy of mire pois aromatics that create the canvas of flavors in stocks, soups, salads, braises, and on and on. I am a big fan of soups especially vegetable or fruit soups. This dish is a combination of two delicious soups that complement one another in flavor, texture and color. When served together in a single bowl the presentation is spectacular.
Be careful to prepare the soups with the same hearty textures so that they flow together to form the yin yang design without being too runny.

Prepare carrot soup and pea soup separately

1/2 cup crème fraiche

To Serve:
Simultaneously pour both soups from opposite sides of serving glass and offset to form a Yin-Yang design. Slide the bowl back and forth to bring the soups to the same level.

Place a dollop of crème fraiche in individual sauce boat and serve alongside or drizzle on top.

Carrot Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, brunoise
2 whole cloves
4 cups (about) chicken stock (vegetable stock may also be used)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
dash of nutmeg

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and cloves and sauté until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add 3 cups broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Remove cloves from broth and discard. Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to same saucepan. Mix in lemon juice and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Thin to desired consistency with more broth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

May be served cold or reheated.

Green Pea Soup with Tarragon

2 lb fresh shucked peas (weight after shucking)
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots
4 cups (or more) chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden and almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add peas, 3 cups broth, and 1 teaspoon tarragon; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil until flavors blend and peas are tender, about 7 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree remaining soup in blender until completely smooth. Return soup to same saucepan. Bring to simmer and thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired. Stir in remaining tarragon. Season with pepper.

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