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Roasted Carrot, Onion & Malbec Soup

Roasted Carrot Malbec Soup
Roasted Carrot Malbec Soup
When we were in Mendoza in 2009, we had a pretty amazing lunch at Bodega Melipal that included a very tasty Malbec Carrot Soup.  This is my attempt to recreate it, leveraging some of the techniques from Francis Mallman's Butternut Squash Soup recipe in Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way.  There are intentionally very few ingredients here as you want the carrots to be the star flavor.

That means no ginger, no garlic, no herbs, no butter.  Just the simple elegance of two vegetables that have outstanding roasted flavors.

Loose carrots, either from a Farmers Market, CSA or bought with tops attached, are the most flavorful you'll find.  The idea is that if the tops are still attached (and green), then the carrots probably haven't been in a refrigerated container for weeks. 

There's mixed opinion here on whether to use chicken stock or water as the soup base.  Water will give you a purer carrot flavor, while the stock will lend an overall richer soup.  

Recipe

Chopped Carrot Size
  • 3# Loose Carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely cut lengthwise
  • 2 Onions, thick sliced
  • 6 cups Chicken stock (optional)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Plain yogurt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Malbec 

Carrots and Onions before Roasting
Carrots and Onions before Roasting

Toss the carrots and onion in olive oil, season and roast for 45' to 1 hour at 450 degrees until you get a deep color and light charring on all of the vegetables.  You'll want to toss them once or twice during roasting to ensure all sides get heated evenly





Carrots and Onions after Roasting
Carrots and Onions after Roasting

To make cleanup easier and roast evenly, I place the carrots and onions on a wire rack inside of a half sheet pan that's been lined with HD aluminum foil.





Transfer the onions to a stock pot where you've heated about 1T of olive oil over medium high heat.  After 2-3 minutes of softening the onions in the oil, add the Malbec and reduce it by at least one-half until it has a syrupy consistency.  




Add the carrots and the cooking liquid.  The liquid should just cover the top of the vegetables.  Drop in a bay leaf, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  If you use more than one Bay Leaf, be sure to remember how many you put in so you know how many to find before you blend the soup.

Cook for about 45 minutes.  When the carrots are fall-apart tenders, remove the bay leaf and blend the soup until it's smooth.  You can use a blender, or do it in-pot with an immersion (stick) blender.  It will be smoother if you use a standard blender and then press it through a sieve (or fine strainer) back into the pot.  Using a stick blender will give it a chunkier, more "rustic", consistency.

Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, yogurt and chopped carrot tops.  Putting a small amount of the yogurt in a kitchen squeeze bottle makes this super easy while the oil can be drizzled from a small spoon.