Monday, October 18, 2010

Tri-Colored Carrot Soup: A Day In A Life

Wandering, looking for inspiration. With the days getting colder, soup has been on my mind. What better place to consider a recipe, but the Union Square Green Market. October, and root vegetables are in season!
I came across a Japanese vendor with wooden crates of three different carrots. A start!

 We then walked to the Madison Square Park Market, which will be open rain or shine until the 23rd. My favorite stall is Spices and Tease , with Francois' help, I purchased a small bag of his family's blend for soups, consisting of rose petals, spice, parsley, orange peel, and lemongrass*. Just what I needed. My final stop was Chinatown. I picked up fresh lemongrass, miniature brown Beech mushrooms, and cilantro.
Here is my recipe :
Tri-Colored Carrot Soup with Shredded Chicken
1 small whole kosher chicken, poached and shredded
A handful each of tri-colored small carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion
4 stalks of lemongrass, peeled to center and sliced lengthwise
1/2 package of Brown Beech Mushrooms from China.
2 tablespoons Spices and Tease spice soup blend *
sea salt and pepper
Garnish with cilantro leaves

Fill stock pot with water and bring to a boil, add dash of sea salt,  pepper, spice mixture , fresh lemongrass and 1/2 of onion . Add whole chicken and poach for about 40 min.
Remove chicken and shred.
Strain the stock.
Return stock to pot, add cup more water if needed, bring back to low simmer.
Add sliced carrots, mushrooms and remaining 1/2 of sliced (thin) onion, cook for another 10 min, until carrots are tender.
Place shredded chicken in bowls, pour hot soup over and garnish with cilantro.
The purple carrots give the broth a lovely deep color, with a  softening sweet note from the rose petals and lemongrass.

I followed up the evening with Roasted Chestnuts, which are just now coming into season.
Make "X" cuts into the chestnuts and wrap with foil and roast in oven at 400 degrees  for about 15 min or so.
I have purchased some really bad ones lately, this woman in Chinatown, hands down, had the freshest yet! She peeled some to show you.

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