This soup has been a long time in the making. All throughout college, I worked at a mom and pop style restaurant at the base of Deer Valley. I waited tables, helped cater, and pestered the cooks in the back day in and day out about what they were making, how they were making etc. Although I mainly stayed in the front of the house, it’s where I learned my love of cooking for others. The owners were and are special people to me. Not only the best bosses I’ve ever had, they threw me the most beautiful rehearsal dinner the night before I got married. I’m sad to say the restaurant isn’t in business anymore. I miss the turkey rueben like nobodys business. Best. Sandwich. Ever.
A true locals joint, the Stew Pot served honest to goodness comfort food. It was simple and unpretentious. The menu stayed pretty consistent over the seven years always offering two stews and two or three soups daily. A favorite of mine, but not served often, was a rich carrot soup which we called French Carrot soup. It was creamy, indulgent and slightly sweet from the shredded carrots. For whatever reason, I never watched the cooks make this soup. I must have bombarded them with questions about everything else except this soup. I’ve had a carrot soup over the years hoping it’s going to hold up to the french carrot soup at The Stew Pot. But nothing has come close.
I’d never attempted to make it on my own but that all changed a few weeks back. I had the soup on my mind the past few months and last week I was at my CSA picking up some eggs and saw these beautiful huge bags of winter carrots for sale. It was fate. (As much as finding carrots at a farm can be.) It was now or never to recreate the french carrot soup I’d been longing for all this time. I didn’t get much help from the internet when I googled french carrot soup so I had to rely on instinct for this one.
I decided to use leeks for their delicate flavor and I decided to lighten the soup up a bit by using a little half and half instead of a ton of cream. I had some fresh dill in the fridge and thought it would make a nice addition to this spring like soup. I’m in total dill mode right now. While the soup wasn’t the same as I remembered, my version is just as good. Different, but good. It filled the void in my carrot soup deprived belly and all in all, it’s a winner.
A light spring time soup made with fresh dill and organic carrots from my local farm. It makes a great lunch or light dinner paired with a mixed greens salad.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups washed, peeled, and grated carrots
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 1 quart (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
- kosher salt
- In a medium size stock pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat.
- Add leeks and cook about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Add grated carrots, honey, and sherry. Stir a few minutes until honey is dissolved. Add vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.
- Turn heat to low and add half and half and minced dill.
- Heat soup through taking care it doesn't come to a boil.
- Season with salt to taste and serve.