Carrot Soup with Cilantro Salsa
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped (if you can't find a sweet one, use a red onion)
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
3 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cups chicken stock (used Swanson's Natural Goodness Chicken Broth)
2 tbsp peanut butter
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp peanuts
2 tsp chopped jalapeno
Melt butter with oil in a large pot. Add onions and ginger to the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until browned, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in peanut butter. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
For the salsa, using a mortar and pestle, combine cilantro, peanuts and jalapeno and mash to a paste-like consistency. Add lime juice and salt to taste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, simply chop all the ingredients very finely and mash them together with the back of a spoon. Set salsa aside.
In batches, puree the soup in the blender (a food processor doesn't work for this) until smooth. Pour the soup through a sieve or chinois back into the cleaned pot. Discard the leftover solids. Warm soup over low-heat until heated throughout. Add more stock if soup is too thick. Add lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve soup in bowls with a dollop of salsa.
Note: The cilantro salsa really contributes to the fabulous taste of this soup. If you don't run it through a seive, the soup will be much thicker and more like split pea soup consistency. When I don't run it through a seive, I add more chicken stock.
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