This soup has a beautiful color and a surprisingly seductive taste that pleases even those who are not great fans of carrots. The secret is to infuse the broth and the yogurt garnish with lots of flavor, using an abundance of dill and chives.
Be as generous with the fresh herbs as your supply allows. (Don't even think of using dried ones.) The soup calls for "handfuls" of herbs; if you are relying on ones from the grocery store instead of the garden or farmers' market, you'll need at least a 1 1/2-ounce packet. Those added to the broth should not be chopped first, so they can be easily fished out later.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the soup
- 4 cups (or one 32-ounce box) reduced sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups (16 ounces) ready-to-use baby carrots (or regular carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths)
- 1 medium thin-skinned white or red bliss potato, scrubbed and quartered
- 1 large handful dill sprigs (including stems)
- 1 small handful whole fresh chives
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the herbed yogurt garnish
- 2/3 cup regular or low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill (fine leaves only), plus 1 small sprig for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
For the soup: Combine the chicken broth, carrots and potato in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Lay the whole herbs over the vegetables and bring the mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat so the broth boils gently; cook uncovered for 13 to 15 minutes or until the carrots and potato are tender when pierced with a fork. Don't undercook, or the soup will not be as smooth as it should be. Set aside until cooled slightly.
Use a fork to lift off and discard the herbs. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots to a blender or food processor. When the potato is cool enough to handle, peel off and discard its skin. Add the potato and butter to the blender or processor, then enough broth from the saucepan to facilitate pureeing. Blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed; a processor will take longer, and the soup will not be quite as smooth.
Stir the carrot mixture back into the broth in the saucepan. Cool slightly, then taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours. If desired, thin the soup with a little water before serving.
For the herbed yogurt garnish: Combine the yogurt, chopped dill and chopped chives in a small bowl. Taste and add salt as needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (so the herbs can infuse the yogurt) and up to 48 hours.
To serve, transfer the soup to individual serving bowls and spoon several teaspoons of the herbed yogurt onto the center of each serving. Partially swirl the mixture into the soup. Garnish each serving with a small sprig of dill weed, if desired.
From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.
Tested by Mary Pat Flaherty.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.