This carrot soup–a cousin of other creamy cold-weather soups like celery root, sunchoke, or cauliflower–is a riff on a simple Chez Panisse carrot soup recipe that we heard Samin Nosrat talking about on the Bite podcast. It doesn’t use any cream or milk, but it does begin with some yellow onions sweated in butter, and once everything is pureed together it has the same satisfying richness as a creamy root vegetable soup with the benefit of a much lighter finish and brighter flavor. We’re getting some additional brightness from our leftover pickling brine from preserving summer peppers, a great way to stretch that amazing flavor as far as it can go.
To give the soup some additional interest and pop, we made sweet/salty/spicy/herbal topping of dried chile flakes, candied ginger, and celery leaf. The chile flakes came from bumper crop of hot peppers we grew at Goatfell this summer. We fermented them with some garlic for about a month, then pureed that into a hot & funky pepper paste, then dehydrated that paste into brittle sheets. We crumble those sheets into a salty chile-flake seasoning that has a long, measured heat and serious depth of flavor from its initial fermentation. The ginger we candied came from a farm in the Hudson Valley, where ginger has recently become an increasingly popular crop–exciting for us, because it’s a delicious flavor to be able to add to our repertoire, and a great way to add a vibrant note to a dish.
— Evan Hanczor, Chef