Chef and Restaurant Coach, Donald Burns
As a chef and restaurant consultant Donald Burns travels quite extensively. When he is getting a little homesick for New Mexico, he just close his eyes and is drawn back to memories of flame roasted green chile. That to him is heaven. Burns describes more about his fall soup dish below.
Fall in New Mexico is such an amazing time of year! As a child my grandmother was an amazing cook! She taught us so much about respecting mother nature and enjoying the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. A lot of times when I'm walking around the farmers market I think she is there with me in spirit.
I really love the taste of carrot soups, they just have a certain comfort level about them especially when there's a slight chill in the air. So when you're at the farmers market next, grab some fresh carrots, leeks, garlic, a nice New Mexico white wine and cook up a batch of comfort.
Creamy Carrot-Leek Soup
YIELD: 8 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES COOK TIME: 35 MINUTES
2 lbs. carrots
3 large leeks
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tb. butter
1 Tb. fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. lemon zest
8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc (St. Clair Winery is a nice local wine)
1/2 cup Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche
Salt and Pepper
- Trim the carrots and chop them into rough 1/2 inch chunks. Trim the root-end off the leeks and cut the white section into quarters. Slice across into small 1/2 inch pieces. (Save the greens for homemade stock.) Place the chopped leeks in a colander and rinse thoroughly--they are often sandy.
- Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter, carrots, leeks and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Then add the thyme, lemon zest, stock, wine, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir and cover again. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the soup looks murky and the carrots are soft.
- Ladle the soup into a high-powered blender. (You might have to do this in two batches.) Place the lid on the blender and open the top vent for steam. Lay a dish towel over the top of the blender and hold firmly as you turn the blender on. Pressure from blending hot liquids can blow the top off and burn you, so be careful--open vent, cover with towel, hold tight! Puree until smooth. Then add the sour cream to the blender and puree again.
- Pour both batches back into the sauce pot and stir to blend. Serve warm.
Donald Burns, The Restaurant Coach™ is a leading authority on how restaurants go from good to becoming exceptional. If you have a cooking question, you can find him on Cinch. His blog can be found at www.donaldburns.net