Last Friday was September 22, the day that my inner spooky gal finally comes out of hiding. Guys, here’s the thing: I love fall. I was born in November. Every birthday party I had as a child was Halloween-themed. I spent almost a decade of my young life convinced I was a witch (I patiently awaited a letter from Hogwarts that never came) and in a lot of ways, I still am — a kitchen witch, that is.
Despite the unprecedented heat that has so politely decided to show up minutes before summer’s curtain finally fell, the Public Market is already offering up the bounty of some of my favorite fall produce. I know I prattled on about this in my last post, but the magic of this season really does inspire me. So, when I saw leeks and carrots and remembered I had some ginger hiding in my freezer, I knew what I had to do.
It was time to make soup.
Without any true direction but the vague understanding of the things I wanted to taste, I took stock of everything in my kitchen and threw it into my soup pot. An hour or so and a messy kitchen later (I left the top off the blender at first, oops), I realized I had done it — earthy yet sweet root veggies bucking against the acidity of rice vinegar and ginger, the nutty cream of coconut milk and the subtly tangy flavor of grana padano rinds.
With homemade English muffin croutons, a sprinkle of thyme, and a generous handful crispy bacon to garnish, I do believe this is the perfect soup to usher in the chilly season to come.
Carrot-Leek Soup with Thyme & Crispy Bacon
- 1.5 pounds carrots, rough chopped
- 1 leek, rough chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2 tbs minced ginger
- 2 tbs rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
- Grana padana or Parmesan ends
- Salt, pepper, herbs du Provence, bay leaves
- 3 cups water or broth. Depends what you have on hand.
- Crispy bacon of choice, crumbled
- English muffin croutons (simply toss slightly stale bread in bacon fat or oil of choice with salt and pepper in a medium-hot pan until golden brown)
- Sauté leeks until softened.
- Add carrots and sauté, stirring occasionally.
- Lower heat and add 3 cups water or broth. Add seasoning and cover. Let it cook for about 30-40 minutes.
- Add the cream, let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add contents to blender, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Season additionally to taste