For those of you who do not know me, my love language is quality time. Have you heard of “love languages”? It’s an amazing book that helps you speak love in a language that your partner best understands. Brilliant! Anyway, my husband has gotten a lot better at taking me out on dates, and I really really have enjoyed it! My parents recently sold their home in NC, and moved in with us while they look for land in the area here, near us. Since Papa and Grandma are HERE, and they TELL us to go out on dates… we certainly can’t say no, can we!? HA! So, the other night, we went to this cute local cafe and they had a spicy carrot soup on the menu… and my husband LOVED it. He told me that he just knew I could make it, and that the next week he wanted me to see if I could recreate it. So, this is my version of spicy carrot soup… AND, I paired it with a sourdough grilled cheese…because, why have grilled cheese if it isn’t on sourdough?
2 TB olive oil
2 TB butter
1 sweet yellow onion
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 lb organic (doesn’t have to be, that’s what I used) carrots, peeled and cut in large pieces
6 cups vegetable broth
1-2 tsp madras curry powder
dash of coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne (I am very weak when it comes to spice… add to your desired spiciness)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup half and half
You will also need an immersion blender, high powered blender like a vitamix that can handle hot soups, or a food processor for this recipe.
1 loaf of sourdough bread (I bought mine from Publix)
1 block of sharp cheddar cheese
Drizzle the olive oil into a large soup pot, and heat over medium heat (5 out of 10 on my stove). Add the onions, and saute until translucent and then add the cut up carrots and minced garlic. Let the carrots and onions simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes and add all of the seasonings, and add the 2 TB of butter. Stir until nicely combine and let simmer for about 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes, add the vegetable broth and turn the heat to high until it comes to a boil. Once it’s’ at a boil, bring back down to medium of medium low (3 to 4) and let simmer about 15 minutes or so, or until the carrots are SOFT.
Now, I poured the whole pot into my Vitamix and put it on the hot soup setting, and blended it until it was the texture I liked. I only had to blend for about 25 seconds. A food processor would have it be a bit more textured, the Vitamix makes it very velvety and smooth. An immersion blender would be good as well, and then you wouldn’t have to transfer it back and forth.
Once the soup is blended, if you have to, transfer it back to your soup pot and put on low heat to bring back up to desired temperature and add the half and half** and stir.
While your soup is reheating, make your grilled cheese if you want to add it to this meal.
Slice your sourdough bread to the desired slice thickness. I made mine on the larger size, but you don’t have to. Slather some butter on the outside of each slice of sourdough, 2 slices per sandwich you are making. Slice your cheddar cheese, about 5 to 6 thin slices of cheese per sandwich. Heat your small skillet over medium heat on your stove. Put the first slice of bread down on the pan, butter side down. Place the slices of cheese on the plain side up and then top with the next slice of bread, butter side up. Cook on medium heat until golden brown, and flip… doing the same on the other side. Should take about 4 minutes per side or so, depending on your pan and stove top.
Once your sandwiches are done, and the soup is nice and warm, serve! I sprinkled a tiny bit of cayenne and fresh ground pepper on top of the soup and served. This was so delicious!!! Cozy and warm, and not too spicy at all.
**Fyi, the half and half is completely optional, and not at all necessary.