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Gingered Carrot Soup
From The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh, by Paulette Mitchell

With such a small number of ingredients in this rich and colorful soup, each makes a very important contribution. For speed, I use preshredded carrots, and I love the way crystallized ginger enhances their natural sweetness. In winter, the soup is ready in minutes to banish chills. For summer days, make it early in the morning and serve cold.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp oil
8 cups finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups chicken broth, or vegetable stock (prepared using stock concentrate, cubes, or powder) for vegetarians
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/8 tsp ground white pepper, or to taste
1 cup heavy cream, divided
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion; cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Stir in the vegetable stock, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and white pepper. Cover and increase the heat to high. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 4 minutes or until the carrots and onion are very tender.

Meanwhile, pour 1/2 cup heavy cream and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into a small bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat until the cream forms soft peaks.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Top with dollops of the whipped cream and sprinkle with cilantro.

Yield: Makes 4 servings (6 cups)

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