With puréed soups, sometimes I use water, not stock for the base. If the vegetables are lovely and in-season, I just want a pure taste with minimal distractions.
Carrots pair well with cumin, and the honey heightens their natural sweetness.
1 knob of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bunch of carrots (about a pound), peeled, or well-scrubbed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1-2 tablespoons of honey
Salt to taste
A hand-held immersion blender
How to prepare:
1. In a medium sauce-pan (about 2 quarts), heat the butter and the olive oil together over medium heat until it begins to foam. Add the onions, and sauté them in the butter until they are translucent. When the onions begin to get a twinge of goldenness, sprinkle them lightly with cumin (a little goes a long way). Toss the onions and the cumin together for about 20 to 30 seconds. You want the ground spice to become a little fragrant and toasted, but not burnt. Add the carrots, and toss them with the onions. Warm everything together for about a minute or two, making sure that the carrots are well-coated with the onion mixture.
2. Cover the carrots with about 1/2-inch of water. Add a few healthy pinches of salt, and simmer everything until the carrots are nice and tender. When the carrots are done, turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the vegetables in the pan (easier clean-up, no?). You want the texture to be smooth and creamy. If the soup seems a little thick, you can add some more water to thin it. Stir in the honey. Start with one tablespoon, and add another if you feel like the soup needs more sweetness. Adjust the seasoning (I only use salt because I like to keep the vibrant orange smoothness of the soup unmarred by little black flecks of pepper).
3. Top the soup with a dollop of crème fraîche, and serve it hot or cold. If you serve it cold, it will thicken upon standing.