The weather here in Connecticut has been so mild, I’ve hardly thought about making pots of warm, cozy soup. It’s late into the second week of November, temps have been consistently in the mid -sixties with cloudless blue skies. The leaves should be mostly off trees, and we should be having low forty to mid fifty days. Yet, many trees still have lovely colored leaves attached and the temps are warm (for New England anyways!). I haven’t had to break out our French Bulldog’s Victor & Hugo’s very stylish Carhartt coats! If this is global warming, I’m all for it and so are they!
But alas, this is New England. The big freeze will be here sooner than later. This time of year, the next soup on most cooks list is butternut squash. And, why not? It’s delish! And most of the general population would agree, considering just about all restaurants offer this seasonal soup this time of year.
If you dislike Butternut Squash or are looking for a different soup to serve on Turkey Day or to change your seasonal soup repertoire, this soup is for you. It’s hearty and colorful just like butternut squash soup. It will make both butternut squash lovers and haters happy!
The main ingredient in this soup is carrots. On a scale 1-10, 10 being the worst, I put cooked carrots at a 9. (There are few exceptions, such as using them in stock or roasted and caramelized with balsamic vinegar or maple syrup). But with this recipe, the carrots add a texture and some of the sweetness that when blended with the other ingredients work well together. The other ingredient is Madras Curry Powder. Now, people either love curry or hate it. In this case, if you are a lover, then add as little or as much as you want. If you are a hater, then omit and add a bit more orange zest than the recipe calls for. Either way, this is a super flavorful and pretty soup.
By the way, if Butternut Squash Soup is really your favorite check out our past blog post: Apple Cider Butternut Squash Soup
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!
Carrot Curry Ginger Bisque
This recipe makes a good size batch of bisque but is easily cut in half if you don't need as much. I love making big batches of soup. This way I freeze the leftover for a cold winter night when I'm too busy to cook. Also, you can always send your Thanksgiving Day guests home with leftover soup. I've never met anyone that would refuse that offer!
The consistency is thick. I'd suggest you have on hand more chicken stock or vegetable stock than is called for in the ingredient list. This way you can adjust the consistency to your liking.
The garnish of fried sage leaves is obviously optional. But, if you have a bit of extra time and interest they do make an awesome garnish that tastes so good!. Interestingly, as I mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of carrots and must confess I really don't like sage. However, there is something about fried sages leaves with sea salt that I love. I could eat them like potato chips. What I really like about sage is the leaves are beautiful and they work well for general visual interest garnish for cheese platters or whatever you are serving. Also, it pretty much lasts through our entire Connecticut winter so I can always go outside and pick some. The purple sage is my favorite. But it doesn't work well when frying as the purple color leaves tend to look almost black when fried. So, stick with the pretty smokie green leaves for this recipe. And, for all you Butternut Squash Soup fans, this garnish is the icing on top too!
4 Leeks, including tender green portions, thinly sliced
5# Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and small dice
1 Large Red Onion, Onion, peeled and small dice
1 Large Clove Garlic
¼ -1/2 Cup Grated Fresh Ginger
½ Cup O’Live A Little’s Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Oranges – zested & juiced to equal 1 cup +/-
3-4 Tablespoons Madras Curry Powder
2- 48 oz (+/-) containers of chicken or vegetable stock
½ Cup O’Live A Little’s Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
2 - 3 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Salt, or to taste
1 Tablespoon Pepper, or to taste
Fresh Sage Leaves
Any O’Live A Little Traditional Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cover ½ “ of small fry pan for frying sage leaves - I used our Greek Olive Oil
Medium grain sea salt to sprinkle on sage leaves
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the blood orange extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks and onion and sauté until they are just slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, sweet potato, garlic and ginger and sauté until the vegetables are just softened, about 10 minutes more. Add the Madras Curry Powder and stir to combine until the mixture becomes fragrant.
2. Add the stock, orange juice and zest, Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover partially and simmer until the vegetables are completely softened, about 20 - 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour in the heavy cream and stir to just combine.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree till smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning and return the soup to the pan to keep warm.
For The Sage Leaves
1. Pour your favorite O’Live A Little Traditional Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a small sauce pan to approximately ½” deep. Heat oil till very hot, but not smoking
2. Layout some paper towels to place the fried sage leaves once fried, and have sea salt ready to sprinkle.
3. Once oil is hot, add sage leaves quickly, frying in small batches. While frying, flip over with tongs as needed. They take approximately 30 seconds or less. Remove from oil and place on paper towels and sprinkle generously with sea salt.
4. Repeat till all leaves are fried.
5. Sage leaves can be fried hours before needed. Just keep them on a dry paper towel.
6. Note: Plan to have more sage leaves than you will need. It might take a few attempts before you get the perfect fried sage leaf and you are going to want more, they are that good!