Welcome to the mad Christmas season! The temperatures have been wild, with 2 degrees one day, and 40 the next. Which of course has just multiplied the number of people coughing, sneezing, and wheezing, of which I was one yesterday. Waking up with a virtual brick on your chest isn't the most cheerful way to start the day, so I lept into the kitchen and rustled up this surefire cold remedy: lots of fresh organic carrots, fresh orange juice, and a shaving of fresh ginger. This is a longtime favorite adapted from The Silver Palate cookbook, and for some reason, it always works on the kind of sneezles and wheezles I was coming down with.
The shopping is almost done, and I joined the Buy Local movement in our area, finding so many new favorite shops I had never visited around here. And buying local meant I could walk around the town at a calm, cheery pace, taking the time to chat with storekeepers and friends I hadn't seen in years. I found everything from Tibetan prayer flags, to wacky birdhouses built from the discarded lumber from the Peterborough dump. I found homemade chocolates, glittering and gleaming with tiny flakes of gold - and sweet balsam sachets to tuck under your pillow. Homemade soaps are everywhere, from the winter farmers markets to the local health food store. It really has been a delight to shop this year, and I've found prices to be moderate everywhere.
So now - onto the soup!
Carrot and Orange soup with ginger and thyme
Serves two or three.
2 T. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock plus more for thinning
2 cups peeled and sliced organic carrots
1 t. shaved fresh ginger
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 cup fresh orange juice, along with some of the zest
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onions. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes, until the onions are a little golden.
Add the carrots, thyme, ginger, and chicken or vegetable stock to onions and again, cook on low, covered, until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
Pour the soup into a strainer over a bowl, then transfer the solids to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, along with some of the cooking liquid and puree.
Return puree to the pot, and add the orange juice and zest and more stock if needed. Taste, add salt and pepper, and serve with some rolls or toast.
This soup does thicken as it sits, so just add a little more stock, or water, as needed.
freshly ground pepper