This soup is one I make often for formal dinners. The contrast of the earthy carrots and the bright and tart citrus is wonderful. The presentation of this soup is spectacular, and everybody I have served this soup to has been very surprised.
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14 garlic cloves
6 mint sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
All above tied in a bag to make a sachet
8 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
2 1/2 cups onions sliced thin
1 cup riesling wine (very dry, not sweet at all)
1 teaspoon curry powder, commercial
Salt and white pepper
8 cups carrot juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 cups sliced carrots
Melt butter or heat olive oil. Add onions and cook on medium heat till translucent. Add sachet and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are a light golden. Add wine and boil till the smell of alcohol is gone.add curry, salt, pepper and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes on medium flame to infuse the flavors. Add the carrot juice and bring to a simmer. Add carrots and the vanilla extract. Simmer gently for 35-40 minutes until the carrots are soft and mushy. Remove the sachet and discard. Using a blender, regular or immersion, blend the soup until you have a silky texture. Set aside. The soup must have a fairly thick texture, it must coat a spoon thickly when dipped in the soup. Simmer the soup to attain this texture or thin it down with water.
The citrus salad
2-3 oranges, navel, blood, Valencia. I like to mix them.
2-4 tablespoons orange blossom or rose water
25-30 mint leaves torn into bits.
Peel the citrus so that you have only the inside flesh. To do this cut off the tops and bottoms through the orange and then again in the middle. I then cut off the the skin on the sides all the way to the flesh. Take out the flesh using a paring knife, one segment at a time discarding the skins and seeds. Collect the flesh and juice in a bowl. Add the blossom water and mint leaves and let sit for 2 hours at room temperature.
To assemble the soup, heat well in a pot and serve in a wide bowl. Top with a serving of the citrus salad on one side. I occasionally also add a small mint sprig to the center of the bowl and drizzle a small spoon of kefir in a circle in the bowl