Learn How to Make Chef Speidel's Warm Soup of Four Town Farm

With rainbow carrots, buttered lobster and caraway seed


This dish utilizes all possible uses of these incredible carrots that we get from our favorite farm. We glaze the carrots in their own juice, add a touch of cream and then purée them in a blender. Next, we try to make the dish interesting by adding carrots cooked by different methods to add some texture and depth. For a touch of luxury we add gently cooked lobster, which goes beautifully with carrots. Finally we add a hint of caraway, fennel and dill, as they are all part of the same botanical family, Apiacaea (or Umbelliferae). All this is very simple, indeed, and should not take more than an hour from start to finish.

For the soup:
1 cup carrot juice, from about 2-3 orange carrots
2 cups assorted carrots, e.g.: Chantenay, orange round, red dragon, pink yellow and purple (Use caution when adding too many purple or red carrots, as they will bleed into the others, creating a very unpleasant brown color.)
2 cups water

Pinch of sugar
Salt, as desired
½ cup cream
1 tsp toasted caraway seed

In a heavy pot large enough to hold all the carrots in one layer, add the carrot juice, salt, sugar and bring to a boil. Skim any froth or scum off the surface of the liquid and allow it to reduce down to a glaze. This may take 5-7 minutes but every stove is different. Check the pot often to ensure it does not burn. Once the juice boils down to a glaze, stir the carrots to coat evenly and then add the two cups of water. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

In another small pot, toast the caraway seeds until fragrant, then add the cream to the pot and bring to a boil. Once the cream comes to a boil, remove from the heat and cover with plastic wrap or a lid to infuse for at least 15 minutes. After the infusion, add the entire mix to the simmering carrot soup and bring back to a boil.

Once it’s boiling, start tasting the soup for proper seasoning – it’s easier to fix the seasoning now rather than after puréeing.

At this point the soup is ready to purée. Strain the soup through a large sieve or colander and save the liquid. In a large blender, add the soup, in batches if necessary, and blend on high for at least a full minute per batch. Add enough of the strained liquid to turn the blender blades and create a vortex. Strain the soup through a very fine sieve, using the back of a ladle if necessary to push the soup through. If the soup is too thick add more cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency. If using right away, keep warm with a lid on top; otherwise the soup base can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for another two days.

For the glazed carrots:
4-5 petite, assorted carrots (no longer than 4 inches), peeled, cut into obliques, tops removed
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
½ cup water
2 fresh dill sprigs
1 tbsp unsalted butter

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place all the ingredients in a single layer. The water should cover the carrots by one inch, if not add more water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the carrots until all the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. The carrots should be tender and the butter and sugar should have effectively glazed them. Discard the dill sprigs and keep warm while you prepare the lobster.

For the lobster:
Meat from a 1-1.25lb. lobster cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fennel pollen or ground fennel seed
1 tsp minced parsley

In a small pot add the water and butter and bring to a boil. Using a small wire whisk, stir the pot until the butter melts. Next add the lobster, salt and fennel pollen (or seed). Cook just until the lobster is warm, taking care not to over cook. Remove from the heat and keep warm. This should be done just before you are ready to serve the soup.

Finishing and plating:
Warm four wide soup bowls in a low oven for one minute. Arrange the glazed carrots and lobster attractively on the warm bowls either in the center or around the perimeter. Bring the soup base back to a boil, froth with an immersion blender or with a wire whisk to disburse and aerate the soup. Then pour into the bowls at the table in front of your guests or simply pour opposite the garnish in the kitchen.

Garnish with more flair using some green carrot tops, rinsed and dried in a salad spinner, wild carrot flowers, raw carrots shaved very thin and a sprinkle of caraway seed powder.

Persimmon, Chef Champe Speide recipe, soup, the bay


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