Although this carrot soup is served cold, it is a great all-season soup with a little something to offer for any time of year. It is at once sweet, spicy, earthy and bright. The sweetness of carrots and the warm, mellow heat of cumin are made for each other. Use fresh orange juice if possible. If not, squeeze in a little fresh lime juice to lift the flavor.
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/3 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 medium carrots, diced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt, optional
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, optional
1 teaspoon grated orange zest for garnish
6 sprigs of fresh dill for garnish, optional
1. Heat the canola oil in a medium-sized pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft and translucent.
2. Stir in the cumin; cook for about 2 minutes to bring out the pungent aroma of the spice. Stir in the carrots, stock or broth and salt, if using; simmer partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor, fitted with a metal blade, and process until smooth. Blend in the orange juice and lime juice, if using. Transfer to a bowl or storage container, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
4. Serve cold in chilled soup bowls. Garnish with orange zest and dill, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Adapted from The Golden Door Cooks Light & Easy: Delicious Recipes from America's Premier Spa by Chef Michel Stroot (Gibbs Smith, 2003).