Friday, June 15, 2012

Chilled Creamy Carrot Soup with Fine Herbes Mousse

Cool, creamy and intense, this silky smooth Chilled Creamy Carrot Soup from Thomas Keller's Michelin-starred California restaurant, 'The French Laundry', captures the essence of the season's fresh produce. The earthy sweetness of farm fresh carrots and the mellow heat of fragrant curry powder, local honey and rich cream are made for each other. Garnished with a savoury quenelle of whipped Fine Herbes Mousse, made from crème frâiche, fresh chives, chervil, tarragon and parsley, this bright and beautiful soup is excellent served either warm or chilled, as part of an elegant brunch or al fresco summer meal.

Chef Thomas Keller

Chilled Cream of Carrot Soup
Serves 4

3 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1" rounds
2 1/2 cups fresh carrot juice
1 tsp butter
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Fresh nutmeg for garnish

Simmer the carrots, half of the carrot juice, butter, honey and curry in a medium pot over medium-low heat until the liquid has evaporated and carrots are very soft, about 1 hour. Add the cream, increase heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes. Purée the carrot mixture with the remaining 1 1/4 cups carrot juice using an immersion or standing blender. Then pass the soup through a fine sieve into a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Divide soup between 4 chilled soup glasses or bowls and garnish with a swirl of cream, fresh ground nutmeg and some chives, or Thomas Keller's Fine Herbes Mousse.

Fine Herbes Mousse

Serves 4

1/4 cup crème frâiche
1 chive, finely chopped
1 small sprig parsley, minced
1 small sprig chervil, minced
1 small sprig tarragon, minced

For the mousse, whisk crème frâiche in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in the chives, parsley, chervil, and tarragon. Divide soup between 4 chilled soup bowls and place a spoonful of mousse in centre of each bowl.