"Andrea Reusing, chef-owner of the award-winning Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a true believer in eating locally, reveling in what’s fresh and fabulous as the year moves through its cycle," says Sybil Pratt in her review of the sublimely titled Cooking in the Moment. It's our April cookbook of the month, and this savory spin on carrot soup is one of the 130+ reasons why!

carrot soup with toasted curry and pistachios

I love any dish that can be made using water rather than stock. It’s a bit of useful laziness that can help establish the clean, pure flavor of the ingredient itself, whether it’s carrots or clams. One key is a slow, patient approach to cooking (or “sweating”) the onions and garlic, creating sweetness and depth. Homemade curry powder keeps well for a few weeks and warms up deviled eggs, beef stew, or hot buttered popcorn.

serves 6 to 8

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 pounds carrots

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Curry Powder (recipe follows), plus more for garnish

  • Pinch of cayenne

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt, for garnish

  • ½ cup shelled roasted pistachios

Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart pot. Add the onion, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Meanwhile, peel the carrots and slice them into thin rounds.

Raise the heat to medium, and add the curry and cayenne. Stir and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the carrots, wine, and another ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook for 2 minutes, until the wine reduces a little. Add 6 cups water and the remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the carrots are completely tender.

Puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Add water if the soup seems too thick. Adjust the seasoning and serve in warm bowls. Garnish with yogurt, the pistachios, and a sprinkling of curry powder.

curry powder

makes about ½ cup

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 2 large dried red chiles, such as de árbol

  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric

In a small pan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, and chiles, tossing constantly, for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and slightly colored. Let cool completely.

Grind the mixture in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder until very fine. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the turmeric.

Reprinted with permission from the book Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing.  Copyright © 2010 by Andrea Reusing.  Photographs copyright © 2010.  Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. Read our review of this book.


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