Cream of Carrot and Zucchini Soup
These two soups make a tasty team served side by side in a single bowl and may be made several days ahead and served hot or cold. If serving cold, omit the butter and use 1 tablespoon oil. I have an affection for two-colored soups because they are visually stunning, making the simplest soup appear a feat of genius. In each case, the component soups can also be multiplied and served alone. — Nathalie Dupree
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, chopped
4 to 6 large carrots, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
4 cups chicken stock or broth, fresh or commercial
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cover and sauté gently over low heat until the onion is soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic.
Divide the onion mixture into two 2-quart pots. Add the carrots to one pot, the zucchini to another. Divide and stir in the stock, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes for the carrots and 15 to 20 minutes for the zucchini.
Purée the solids, each pot separately, using an immersion blender, or ladle into a food processor, or sturdy blender, adding liquid as necessary to create a smooth texture. Return to the individual pots with the liquid, stirring. Add sugar as desired to the carrot soup and season both pots to taste with salt and pepper. Divide and pour in the cream, bring the pots just to the boil, and remove from the heat.
Pour the soups into individual bowls by pouring the two soups simultaneously from 2 measuring cups positioned on opposite sides of the bowl. The separate mixtures will form a mosaic.
1. A tablespoon of chopped ginger cooked with the onion adds dash to the soup.
2. Winter squash such as peeled butternut squash can be substituted for the carrots.
3. If only one color soup is desired, double the amount of vegetables used, leaving the rest of the ingredients as is.
Nathalie Dupree is the author of 14 cookbooks, including the James Beard award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree.com.