These probably one of easiest soups to learn to make and they are good for everyday meal as well as sit-down fancy meals as well. Because they are served chilled, one could prepare them hours in advance and add garnishes at the last moment. I learned to make Cold Carrot Soup and Corn Soup at a cooking class I took recently. It was kind of a let-down because the class had students with many different abilities – some who seemed to have not really chopped as much as an onion before and some who were there simply as a couples therapy sessionJ. I normally go to such cooking sessions alone with out my wife, who does not enjoy cooking (but enjoys good food and what I make). My intention is to learn new tricks. That was indeed satisfied in this class. I had never used crème fraiche before as a garnish not had I used fresh chives or beacon as garnishes. The effect is quite nice – both for its look and structure it adds as well as subtle difference in taste that it brings about. Similarly, I had normally thrown away the cobs after removing kernels but here they were added to the soup and boiled along with the kernel. These are removed before being pureed. The purpose seems to be to extract additional corn milk and thus add more flavor to the chilled corn soup. You should also taste the soups after it is chilled. I find that salt and pepper needed to be added even through they were in balance before the soup was chilled. I have added some photos of soups I made. These are iPhone photos taken not in ideal light condition so don’t go by its looks. In reality the soups served looked quite elegant and good enough to be served to guests in a part of 8-10 people. Here are the recipes, methods and pictures of my effort.
Cold Carrot Soup with Crispy Bacon
Unsalted Butter – 2 Tbsp
Yellow Onion – ½ of large, small diced
Carrots – 6 large (about 1 lbs), peeled and medium diced
Chicken Stock – 2 cups, use veg stock if vegetarian
Heavy Cream – 2 Tbsp
Salt and Pepper
Chives – snipped with scissors, for serving
Crème Fraîche for serving
Bacon – 2-3 strips thick, cut to small lardons and cooked until crispy
1) Melt the butter in pot, Add onions and carrots, with a big pinch of salt and pepper, cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes.
2) Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Puree soup, in batches if needed with a blender. Blend until smooth.
3) Add orange juice and heavy cream and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and chill the soup.
4) Before serving, taste again and add salt and pepper if needed, stir, garnish with chives, crème fraîche, and bacon and serve.
Chilled Corn Soup with Roasted Shrimp and Chives
Olive Oil – 2 Tbsp
Yellow Onion – ½ a small one, medium diced
Fresh Thyme – 3-4 branches
Half and half – ½ cup, cold
Chicken Stock – 1 cup
Fresh Corn – 3 years, shucked and kernels cut from cobs (reserve the cobs)
Salt – ½ tsp
Black Pepper – ¾ tsp
Fresh Lime Juice
Dash of Tabasco
Fresh chives – 2 Tbsp, chopped
1) Heat a medium pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil, diced onions, thyme, and a big pinch of salt and allow onions to sweat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Once onions are translucent, pour in half and half and chicken stock and bring to simmer. Add corn kernels and cobs and allow to simmer in milk for 4-5 minutes or just tender.
2) Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
3) Strain through fine mesh strainer, add salt and pepper, lime and Tabasco, and taste.
5) Serve soup in bowls with a sprinkle of fresh chives and roasted shrimps (see below)
Garlic Roasted Shrimp
Medium Shrimp – ½ pound (about 26/30), peeled and deveined, tails on.
Extra virgin olive oil – 1 Tbsp
Coarse Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garlic – 2 cloves, very finely minced
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Lemon – 1, zested, and juiced, about 3 Tbsp Juice
1) Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Move a rack into the top third of the oven. Thaw the shrimp under cold running water. Rinse slightly then pat very dry with paper towels and transfer to a large bowl.
2) Toss the shrimp with the olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, crushed pepper flakes and lemon. Spread it on a baking pan in single layer and pop in the oven.
3) Bake until the shrimp are pink and firm – about 10 minutes. Cool briefly, then butterfly shrimp and cut to small dice.