The election is looming, and with NH a battleground state, the phone has been ringing - A LOT. Most of us in New Hampshire love our politics, and get intensely involved, but also avoid political conversation with friends who are on a different side - an oddity I never saw in my home state of Massachusetts. I suppose when you live in the country, you do your best to get along with your neighbor, since you might need him in mud season.
And it is finally, really, soup weather. A robust, colorful, warming soup is what I wanted, and I think this gorgeously orange carrot soup simmered with fresh gingerroot was just right. The ginger leaves a warm tingle long after you've finished, softer than hot sauce.
I also made some crispy parmesan crisps, as light as feathers and very fragile, just for fun, to crumble into the soup. The carrot soup couldn't be easier - just simmer all the ingredients in a pot, puree, and serve with a sprinkle of dill and parsley, or a sliver of parmesan cheese.
Carrot and gingerroot soup:
2 cups water
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 t. thyme
1 1/2 cups peeled, sliced carrots
1 stalk celery, washed and sliced (include leaves if they have them)
1 heaping tablespoon fresh peeled ginger, sliced or diced
salt and pepper to taste
fresh dill and parsley for garnish
shaving of parmesan for garnish
In a saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a simmer, and cook 20-30 minutes, or until carrots are soft. Remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender or a regular blender. Garnish and serve.
I used a microplane to shred the parmesan. I tried both coarsely grated parmesan and the fluffier microplaned and liked the microplaned better.
Parmesan cheese, microplaned
Dried basil to sprinkle on top of the mounds
Line a baking sheet with clean foil.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Use a soup spoon or a very small ice cream scoop to scoop up the fluffy cheese and make mounds, 6 or 8 to a sheet. Leave two inches between the mounds. Sprinkle a pinch of basil on each mound.
Bake for 6 minutes in hot oven, remove, cool briefly, and using a spatula, remove the crisps from the foil, placing directly on a flat plate before serving. They are very delicate and lacy - and delicious.