"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cold Curried Coconut and Carrot Soup

I am participating in a 13-week Organic Farmer's Box thing at The Fruitful Basket this summer. What fun, to stop by every Friday and pick up a peach box brimming with organic fruits and vegetables!

But what that means is that I have refrigerator full of fruits and vegetables and the responsibility to use them wisely. Well, the fruits go in a snap. It's those veggies!

So the Milanese Salad and the Cold Curried Coconut and Carrot Soup took care of the big, beautiful carrots. Stay tuned for cauliflower and broccoli recipes! (and if you need lettuce, please, just come over and take it out of my refrigerator)

Regular readers will know that I'm sensitive to temperature--that eating ice cream in the winter seems like the height of insanity to me. So cold soups, obviously, need to be made and consumed when it's just boiling outside. And it's been pretty hot up here, so I decided to give this a whirl, especially since there are so many of the cold soups in the book that I haven't made yet.

It's pretty:

Don't forget to put your lid on tight:

By the way, I did not blend this hot--I let the carrots sit overnight to cool down, thus avoiding the terrifying "hot-soup-in-a-blender" experience. The other variation I made to the recipe was to use light coconut milk instead of full-fat. I know I've said this before (in the cheesecake department)--that I like to follow the recipes as written the first time around--but hey folks, I'm 42 and the body just doesn't recover from extravagance like it used to, no matter how many push-ups you do in karate class.

Let me talk a little bit here about flavor. One of the things I noticed in the tasting was that there was a bitter flavor in the back of the throat, and I know for a fact that comes from too much cumin. How do I know this? Because in my freestyle cooking days, when I would throw in a pinch of this and a pinch of that, I tried a meat stew that had that same bitter taste (this was at home, by the way--I didn't inflict this on any paying customers). Hmm, I thought. Maybe it needs more cumin.

No, it didn't. The cumin was the problem, and more of it made it much worse--inedible actually, no matter how I tried to fix it.

So my considered opinion is that there is a little too much curry powder in this soup. I was using a good blend--a new bottle from a reputable company. If I were re-writing it I would either break down the curry mix so that the cumin could be adjusted, or I would write it as 3/4 tablespoon.

The other possibility is that if I had used a full-fat coconut milk, the extra fat would have dulled the cumin's bite.

It was less noticeable after sitting again in the fridge--in fact, I was so busy eating it that I forgot to take a picture in the bowl. Notice the high tide mark!

Oh, and did I eat it cold? No, I did not. Yesterday was one of those clear, dry, lovely days where the temp drops about twenty degrees after the sun sets. So--another good reason to make this soup--it's great hot too.


MelBell said...

Hi Melissa! I tried to leave a post yesterday, but it looks like it didn't take.

Anyhoodly, just wanted to say thanks for pointing me in the direction of this recipe - I picked up the ingredients last night and plan to make a batch on the weekend. Can't wait!

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Hey Melissa! It really is delicious--you'll love it hot or cold. Enjoy!