“Why are you making soup?” It was my daughter’s question, but you might be thinking the same. With school almost over and thoughts turning to Memorial Day, soup seems so, well, last season. And this is precisely the point.
Before I can welcome another summer (aka another growing season), I need to say good-bye to the last. This means that my stand-alone deep freezer — the one I filled last year with beans, corn, strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, pesto and more — needs to be empty. And it nearly is. All winter we enjoyed reminders of last year’s CSA: creamed corn with organic sweet corn, wok-seared green beans, raspberry smoothies, soup. But the shelves aren’t entirely bare, so this weekend I took inventory and did my best to use up what was left.
The result: carrot orange soup. The last time I made it was Christmas Eve. This time I made it with bags of cooked carrots, diced par-boiled potatoes, and a diced onion that didn’t find their way into anything else. The carrots I put away last season expecting to use them as a side dish but I found them too rubbery for that purpose (I’ve never been a fan of frozen store-bought carrots either). In soup, however, the texture doesn’t matter because everything gets pureed at the end.
Soup might not be the first thing on your mind, but why not make a batch and put it away for a night this week when you’re too busy to cook — or for that first chilly night in September. P.S. This is also a great way to use extra carrots from those huge bags sold at Costco.
When I made this soup, I didn’t measure a thing. So if you have more carrots, like I did, use them. Just add more broth at the end to thin the soup. Also, if you’re using frozen vegetables, thaw them first and adjust cooking times accordingly.
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
1 to 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
5 or more cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1 orange, washed
Melt the butter in a soup pot and cook the onion and carrots on medium for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the potatoes then add broth and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender. Puree and set aside. Zest and juice the orange, then add half the juice and a teaspoon of zest. Taste and add more juice and/or zest to taste. I usually use all the zest and most of the juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and thin with more broth if necessary.