If it’s fall it must be soup time! Try this colorful and flavorful soup made with carrots, spiced with cloves, and topped with tasty bacon breadcrumbs. The recipe comes by way of The Courtyard, a small restaurant/pub in Schull, Co. Cork, and is featured in my newest cookbook, Flavors of Ireland, available in print and now on iTunes!
Carrot-Clove Soup with Bacon Bread Crumbs
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
10 whole cloves
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
pinch of sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tbsp. heavy cream
minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter and oil. Add the carrots, onions, garlic, and cloves and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
2. Add the stock or broth, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft. Remove the cloves and discard. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. (May be prepared to this point 1 day ahead). Return the purée to the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Simmer until heated through and season with salt and pepper. To serve, ladle the soup into shallow bowls, drizzle the cream over, and sprinkle with the parsley and breadcrumbs, if using.
Bacon Bread Crumbs
2 slices bacon
2 slices white sandwich bread
2 tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon for 7-9 minutes, turning frequently, or until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tbsp. fat from the pan.
2. In a mini food processor, pulse the bread 8 to 10 times to medium-fine crumbs. Transfer bread crumbs to bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Pulse the bacon in the food processor to fine bits and stir into the breadcrumbs. Stir in the parsley and pepper.
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