|Sopa de Cenoura (Carrot Soup)|
Freshly harvested carrots make this a truly wonderful dish that is easy-to-make and is loaded with vitamin A. It’s perfect in the fall and especially as a first course dish for Thanksgiving. It is unique because it is unusual to have a straight-forward puréed soup in Portuguese cooking that does not require other ingredients to give it additional texture. 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, left whole
1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped very-ripe tomato
1 pound carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
1 medium white sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 cup peeled and roughly chopped yellow turnip (rutabaga)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon coarse salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 4-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add and sauté the onion until lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and tomato. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and continue cooking until the tomato is soft and partially dissolved, about 15 minutes.
2. Put in the carrots, sweet potato, and turnip. Pour in the water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and purée the soup.
3. Stir in the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup back to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 more minutes and serve.
Tip: For entertaining or special occasions, I steer away from tradition and dress this dish up with a drizzle of heavy cream.
Variation: With step 3, add 3/4 pound fresh spinach, coarsely chopped. Simmer for 5 minutes until the spinach is just tender.
Many thanks to Ana Patuleia Ortins for permission to use this recipe! You can visit her site at www.portuguesecooking.com