Sweet, sweet carrots enjoy a gentle (or not so subtle) blast of heat from jalapeños. Your choice: Discard the seeds and membranes, where the heat lies, and you’ll end with a pleasantly grassy overtone. Leave the jalapeños be and this is a soup that will warm you to the core on a cool fall afternoon. While you can use heavy cream to thicken this soup, consider giving crème fraiche a try. This thick and tangy substitute is perfect for cream soups because it resists curdling when added to hot soups.
Makes 6 servings
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 or 3 jalapeño peppers, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 4 cups rich chicken stock
- 1 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and peppers. Sauté until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the thyme, bay leaf and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook partially covered until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return to the pot. Stir in the crème fraiche and salt. Gently reheat without boiling. To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro.