IMG00373-20120212-1711I wanted to find a soup that needs to be pureed so I can try out my immersion blender. I chose the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Soup Stews and Chilis cookbook, but found some pieces of other recipes I liked as well. At a pre-appointed time my sister in one kitchen and nephew and niece in another joined with me via video chat as we all cooked together. The soup was declared a success by all eaters.  My main surprise was that the carrot flavor was not particularly strong.


  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ lbs carrots , chopped medium (about 9 carrots)
  • 4 shallots, minced (ATK used 1 medium onion)
  • 4 teaspoons grated or minced fresh ginger (do not substitute ground ginger)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (ATK does not use)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup whole milk (in ATKs Healthy Eating cookbook they use 1%)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • salt
  • white pepper (ATK uses black)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


  1. Wash, but do not peel carrots. Cut off root end. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in 375 oven until carmelized, about 45 minutes. Shake pan midway to evenly roast. (This step is not in ATK, but I think I will like the flavor it gives the carrots. ATK peels the carrots.) Allow to cool until able to handle; cut the carrots into 3" chunks.
  2. Melt 1 Tbs unsalted butter and 1 Tbs olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. (ATK used all vegetable oil.)
  3. Add the shallot (or onion, and chopped carrots IF you did not roast them); cook until the vegetables are softened, 2-3 if only shallots or onion, 7-10 if doing carrots here. (Some recipes included a couple ribs of minced celery also.)
  4. Stir in the ginger and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 – 60 seconds.
  5. Add the chopped carrots, 2 tsp sea salt, and 1/2 tsp white pepper. Add 1 qt broth and bring to a simmer. (Switch from chicken to vegetable broth if you want a vegetarian soup.)
  6. Cover, reduce the heat to med-low, and cook until the carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. (Longer if you did not roast the carrots, perhaps 20 to 30 minutes.)
  7. Using an immersion blender, or doing in batches with a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  8. In the dutch oven, mix the pureed soup,  1/4 cup orange juice, and 3/4 cup milk; cook gently over med-low heat until the soup is hot. Add extra broth as needed for consistency. (Some recipes added 1/4 cup white wine.)
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Sprinkle individual bowls with chives before serving.
IMG00364-20120212-1557 Minced shallots, garlic, and ginger
IMG00368-20120212-1611 Roasted carrots – think I will cook this way for dinner sometime
IMG00370-20120212-1618 Sautéing the shallots; already smelling wonderful
IMG00366-20120212-1605 The video chat was very successful; we loved sharing notes and discussing topics such as “how do black and white pepper differ?”
IMG00371-20120212-1649 It was wonderful to have cooking be a family affair.
IMG00372-20120212-1649 The immersion blender was a Christmas gift; now that I have it I think we will make soup a lot more.