Carrot Soup

Pick the sweetest carrots you can find for this soup. Carrots with leafy tops are usually the freshest and best. This cream soup has a lovely orange color and is perfect to serve in any season with its refreshing tastes of lemon and cilantro. Serve it chilled in the summer with a garnish of sour cream or yogurt.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil or 1/4 cup chopped fresh
1 pound carrots, sliced thinly ( about 8 cups )
5 cups water
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon tamari
Freshly ground pepper
1 Anaheim chili pepper, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

Serves 4

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion and garlic, and cook over high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the basil and carrots, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the water, cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are soft, 30 to 40 minutes.

In a food processor, blend the carrots and cooking liquid until smooth. Return the soup to the stove. Add the lemon juice, tamari, and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro and the chili pepper. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro and serve immediately. If serving cold, transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Variation: Instead of flavoring the soup with cilantro, lemon, and chili pepper, substitute 3 tablespoons of juice from freshly grated ginger or 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice.

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