dash of cayenne, tsp of curry powder or ginger, optional
parsley, cilantro, or chives
Greek yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche
In a large soup pot, cook the carrots, onion, potato, and garlic (and the fresh ginger if you are making the carrot-ginger soup version) in the two tablespoons of butter over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 4 cups of stock (I usually use 2 cups of stock and 2 of water, because I use my homemade stock, which is fairly concentrated) and the pepper and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove soup from the heat and carefully puree using a stick blender, food mill, or process in batches in a blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the heavy cream (light cream or whole milk also work well, but you should make it at least once with heavy cream!) and taste for seasonings. Add salt and additional pepper as necessary. A dash of cayenne pepper is a nice addition here as well, and if you didn’t use fresh ginger, a teaspoon of powdered ginger can be added. Sweeter curries also compliment the flavors of carrots, and adding a teaspoon or so of curry powder gives a delicious curried carrot soup. Heat and stir well to blend flavors.
Serve with chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, and chives are favorites) and/or a little crème fraîche, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. A green salad and crusty French bread round out the meal. Bon Appétit!
*Note: This soup is very good with grocery store-bought carrots. However, if you can access locally grown carrots from your farmers market, they elevate the soup to divine!
My favorite wine to pair with potage Crécy is Viognier, and there are several very well-crafted Virginia Viogniers that would be wonderful with this soup. Of course, a French Viognier would be a lovely pairing and nod to the origin of the soup (Crécy is the area in France with the reputation for growing the best carrots!). The herbal and floral aromatics in really fresh carrots compliment the floral components in Viognier beautifully. Another wine I would recommend for this soup is Albariño, another aromatic variety that has its origins Spain but has been planted in Virginia as well. Cheers!
Peaches are one of my favorite summer fruits, and we bought South Carolina peaches today at Oasis, our local global market. The spinach and arugula were picked from our garden.
Start with grilled pizza dough, and a charcoal fire on one side of the grill only (for indirect heat), cook dough over the coals until bottom is lightly browned and crisp, rotating as necessary for even browning. The dough will form bubbles as the yeast produce carbon dioxide. Flip dough over (the cooked side is now the top of the pizza), flatten the air bubbles, move off the coals, and coat dough with olive oil. Add crumbled chevre.
Move the dough back over the coals and rotate to cook the bottom evenly. Once the bottom is browned, move dough over to indirect heat and add spinach, arugula, and 1-2 chopped peaches that have been tossed with extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
Close the grill and let greens wilt and peaches warm through, 2-5 minutes. If you’re feeling inspired, grill the peaches while the dough is cooking before adding them to the greens mixture.
Serve with balsalmic vinegar and fruity hot sauces as condiments.
Wine pairing: Viognier, with its varietal descriptors of peach and apricot, and its floral aromas, would be perfect with the peaches in this recipe. Virginia wineries are producing some fabulous Viogniers. Rose or Albarino would also pair well with this pizza. Cheers!
Lunch today. One of my favorites – especially in winter just before, after, or if I’m really needing a tropical vacation. I’ve had similar salades in San juan, St. Barth, and Hawaii.
Chop several different tropical fruits (mango, papaya, pineapple, avocado, kiwi, banana, etc.) and serve over a bed of greens. Pomegranate is a lovely addition in winter. Hearts of palm are frequently served in the versions I’ve had closer to the equator.
Sprinkle with grated coconut. Maybe throw some chopped cashews, macadamia nuts, or sliced almonds on there.
Dress with fresh lime or lemon juice and olive oil. Chopped fresh cilantro adds a nice herbal contrast.
Wine pairing: There are some fabulous whites from Greece that would compliment the Greek flavors in this dish. I am most familiar with the grape Assyrtiko, but there are several others worth trying (Roditis, Savatiano). This dish would also pair well with Pinot grigio from Italy, Albarino from Spain, most any crisp white wine with little malolactic fermentation or oak influence. Cheers!