Sunday, January 7, 2018

The flu has struck and I made soup!

So the husband has been sick since just before the New Year and I have been feeling ill since shortly after but now have been hit full on with the symptoms of the flu. It sucks a lot and I know I am not alone because it has struck the city hard.

In any event this has lead to a desire to hibernate on the couch under many blankets and have comfort food. I do not profess to know much about what is or isn't comfort food but for me anything that warms the heart and makes you feel good is comfort food. For example, one of my comfort foods is sushi - yes not traditional. At home my comfort food can be soup, pasta, mac and cheese, lasagna, shepherds pie, meat loaf and mashed potatoes - anything along those lines. 

However, comfort food usually takes a long time to cook which requires effort which for those that are sick can understand is difficult to muster - especially when it's so cold outside and the blankets and couch are so comfy. 

I managed to turn to what is quickly becoming a favourite of mine - roasted vegetable soup - usually carrots.  Roasted Carrot soup is cheap, easy and so filling. 

I have made it before in different varieties - curried roasted carrot soup, herb roasted carrot soup, Ras el Hanout roasted  carrot soup (inspired by Chef Karen Akunowicz); and now Harissa Roasted Carrot Soup. 

I don't remember where I found the soup recipe but it super basic:

Roasted Carrot Soup
  • 2 lbs of Carrots - peeled and sliced on the bias (or just sliced about 1/4")
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Spice or herb of choice - about 2 tbsp for spice blends (curry, Harissa etc) 
    • for Curried - use a curry mix (either make your own or use store bought - for this I error on using store bought) 
    • Ras el Hanout - I found this at an ethnic food store or you can buy it here
    • Harissa - I used a powder mix vs. using a paste 
    • Christmas or Herb roasted:
      • 2 tsp fresh Thyme
      • 3 springs Fresh Rosemary
      • 5 leaves of Sage thick slices
      • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tbsp oil - you can use olive or vegetable - I tend to go for vegetable oil 
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 L Chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Peel and cut the carrots and place in a bowl or a large zip lock back. 
  3. Peel and cut the onion in half and then cut the half into 4 parts from the top to the bottom (top to the roots) 
  4. Add the onions and garlic to the bag with the carrots
  5. Add your desired spices to the bag - I don't ever measure the spices I add so the above is my best estimate - you basically want to add enough so that every piece gets some.
  6. Add the oil to the bag, close and vigorously, messaging to move the oil and spices around. 
  7. Dumb the veggies onto a baking sheet so that there is one even layer (I use one large pan sheet or you can use two.  If you use two sheets make sure that you rotate). 
  8. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes turning the veggies once or twice while cooking. 
  9. Once the veggies are done roasting - either add them to a pot and use an immersion blender-
    1. OR use a food processor and add the veggies. If using the food processor allow the veggies to cool for 10 minutes first
  10.  Add some of the chicken broth to help the veggies get nice and smooth once all processed placed in pot - or if using the immersion blender - add the rest of the chicken stock until you get the desired consistency (think smooth, no lumps, runs but coats a spoon when stirring). I then add the heavy cream and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes.
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning after letting the soup simmer.
  12. Serve!

I often serve with toast or pan fried bread.