Anything this orange, made with root vegetables, should be served on a crisp fall day – rich and hearty with a crusty bread and some good farm-fresh butter (which I evangelize about here). But this carrot-beet soup is light and fresh, tastes as good cold as it does served hot and is perfect for summer.
Arriving home from a trip to the Market with baby carrots and golden beets, I began searching cookbooks for salads and sautés. Stumbling across a recipe for Potage Crécy first made me think of soup. Crécy, it turns out, is not French for orange root vegetables, but refers to a town known, once-upon-a-time, for growing exceptional carrots. However, there is debate about which of two French towns, one in the south and one in the north, each with Crécy in its name, first served up this light summer soup.
Reading through several recipes, I discovered a basic formula of carrots cooked with onions and stock, puréed and flavored with orange. We added the golden beets, sweet but far less earthy than red ones. I grabbed a bottle of Sapore’s Orange oil off the shelf and we served up three bowls, each seasoned differently. It was a quick bite after adding turmeric but before adding cumin that was our favorite – although curry was a close second. Served warm, it is light and sweet. Once chilled it is herbal and far more carrot-y. Both are delicious.
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 candy sweet onion, or white onion, diced
- 4 cups thinly sliced carrots
- 3 cups diced golden beets
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 6-8 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tbs Orange oil*
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/3 cup cream
- Sherry vinegar
*If you don’t have Orange oil, substitute 3 tbs olive oil, and one tablespoon grated orange zest
- Melt butter over medium heat in a 4 quart soup pot. Sauté onion until soft and translucent.
- Add carrots and beets. Sauté 7-10 minutes until golden on edges. Add garlic after 5 minutes.
- Add stock and simmer approximately 30 minutes until vegetables can be mashed with a fork.
- Pass soup through the finest blade of a food mill or purée with a blender. Return to pot.
- Stir in Orange oil and simmer an additional 5 minutes to bring flavors together.
- Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and stir through cream.
- Add turmeric a little at a time so as to not overpower the carrot flavor.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and sherry vinegar.
- Serve hot or cold.