Caramelized Carrot Soup recipe from Modernist Cuisine at Home, by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet
Anjana Shanker, Development Chef, notes:
The Caramelized Carrot Soup recipe from Modernist Cuisine is not only a favorite of ours, but is also the most popular among readers for its silky, sweet, intense carrot flavor. We knew we had to include it in Modernist Cuisine at Home, but first we had to make a few adjustments because the original recipe used a centrifuge. So we simplified it by using simmered, strained carrot juice and refrigeration to get the carotene butter to congeal and separate.
The recipe still works because it’s the pressure-cooking that really allows the flavors of this soup to flourish. The flavors are a combination of caramelization and the Maillard reaction (what people commonly call “browning”), which produces a rich, caramelized, nutty flavor. Pressure cookers are particularly suited for promoting the Maillard reaction because elevated temperatures encourage foods to develop their characteristic flavors far more quickly than conventional cooking methods (such as roasting) do, thereby transforming a long process into a short 20-minute cook time. Adding 0.5% baking soda when pressure-cooking further speeds flavor reactions by producing an alkaline pH of about 7.5.
By using this technique, the carrot flavor is further heightened because no heavy cream is needed. It’s just carrots, carrot juice, and butter. It is so delicious that you can only taste two things: the pure intense essence of the carrots, and a warm undertone of caramel flavor.
I like to serve it with a combination of coconut foam, fried curry leaf, glazed carrots in carotene butter, and chaat masala. I usually serve it warm, but it can be served cold too.
Simply put, this recipe is delicious, rich, silky, simple, convenient, and efficient.
Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Donna:
This recipe ate up a LOT of carrots–over five pounds to get the required carrot juice and the five cups that are pressure-cooked. The result was well worth it, however: the soup was buttery, sweet, savory, succulent, and different from any other carrot soup I’ve eaten. The caramelization in the pressure cooker was a completely new technique, and one I’ll be using again and again. And since I’m a frugal cook, I found a use for the carrot pulp that came out of my juicer, so nothing was wasted.
This wasn’t the least-complicated soup I’ve ever made, but the most difficult thing was peeling the carrots. The recipe did require a juicer, a stick blender, a pressure cooker, and a few bowls and pots, so I made quite a mess before I was done.
This would be a great soup to serve to company. It could be made a day ahead of time and simply reheated to serve.
See below. © 2012 The Cooking Lab Reprinted with permission from Modernist Cuisine at Home, by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab, 2012)
Caramelized Carrot Soup
Featured Recipe From: Modernist Cuisine at Home
© 2012 The Cooking Lab
Reprinted with permission from Modernist Cuisine at Home, by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab, 2012)