Carrot And Cumin Soup

Toasting your spices seems like one of those things you might want to skip but it truly makes a huge difference to the flavor in your dishes. If you think this might be something you’ll do on a regular basis (once you’re hooked you won’t think twice) pick up a coffee grinder to use only for spices. Your morning coffee will thank you.

Serves 6, level of difficulty - easy

6 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 teaspoons (10ml) whole cumin seeds (quickly toasted in a skillet until fragrant,) ground in a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder
3 Tablespoons (45ml) canola oil
Salt and a few drops of tabasco
1 cup (250ml) white wine
4 cups (1 litre) chicken or vegetable broth brought to a boil

Chopped fresh chives (optional garnish)
Sour Cream or Crème Fraiche (optional garnish)

1. In a heavy bottomed soup pot warm up your oil over medium heat. Add your onions and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

2. Add your carrots, garlic and ground cumin seeds to the pot with the salt and tabasco. Cook this all gently for about 20 minutes giving it a good stir now and then.

3. Add the wine and turn up the heat to bring the wine to a boil.

4. Pour in your hot stock and simmer until the carrots are really tender which should take around 10 minutes.

5. In a blender or food processor, blend the soup until it’s really smooth and creamy. I find it works best if you put the chunks of veg in first and add the stock to blend.

6. You can put your soup through a fine mesh strainer here or leave it a bit more rustic, totally up to you.
7. Serve the soup hot in warmed bowls with a swirl of sour cream and some chopped fresh chives.

Wine Match – Pinot Gris

I love this pairing because the floral aromas in Pinot Gris really highlight the fragrant cumin in the soup. The other important thing is choosing a wine that has enough body, and this wine works beautifully, with its smooth texture and fresh shot of acidity. Be sure to choose a Pinot GRIS, not a Grigio which would be too light. Viognier would be another great choice for this soup.

This recipe and wine pairing is from the book: This Food That Wine, a cookbook and wine guide available in stores across Canada.

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