Carrot soup - comfort food for a cool fall day

Labor Day is the line separating Summer and Fall but I'm still in denial. I want to wear flip flops and sundresses and eat sweet corn and summer tomatoes. But alas, the days are growing shorter and I woke up to a cool September morning. As with many things, I found solace in food and decided to prepare a batch of carrot soup.

Since the spring our CSA has delivered carrots - starting with smaller baby carrots at the beginning of the season to the full grown variety later in the summer. I've been collecting them, not on purpose but because there were other, less hardy vegetables that I needed to use before they went bad. I'd use one occasionally but all told I had about 4-5 pounds of carrots sitting in my vegetable bin. We also received a few pounds of early fall potatoes so all I was missing were a few leeks (we haven't had those yet).

The recipe I have comes from a dear friend and is really more of a guide than an absolute listing of must-follow ingredients and instructions. For the most part, add or subtract ingredients as you like. The potatoes make this a hearty, filling soup but if you want to reduce the calories, reduce the number of potatoes you use and don't add the cream. With the ingredients I had today I made about 5.5 quarts of soup. I've heard it freezes well but by the time I've given some to friends and had my lunch and dinner, it doesn't last longer than a few days.

Prepping veggies for the soup

Everyone into the pot

A Hagrid-sized bowl of soup (5.5 quarts)

Ingredients (for the soup I made today):

4-5 pounds of carrots
6 medium sized Russet potatoes
5 medium sized leeks, white and light green parts only, soaked and cleaned
3 tablespoons butter
3 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
2 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Heavy cream, if desired
Sour cream, if desired, for garnish

Cut the vegetables into large chunks. Melt the butter in a large pot and brown the leeks and potatoes. (I really just cook them until softened, not browned). Add the carrots, dill, paprika, bouillon cubes, curry, pepper, and enough water to cover the vegetables. (Note: you can add some dried tarragon but I don't care for the flavor so I leave it out). I don't add any salt at this stage because of the bouillon cubes.

Bring everything to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender. For a quantity this large I blended everything in batches but if you're making a smaller batch you can use an immersion blender. At this point, taste and adjust for seasoning. If you'd like a creamier soup you can add heavy cream. I often leave it out because the potatoes create enough of a creamy texture for me but for special occasions you might want to add some.

To server, garnish with a dollop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and a few homemade croutons.