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Cream of Carrot Soup

2 lbs. carrots
2 medium potatoes
3 or 4 large onions
1-2 heads garlic (not cloves)
1 T dried thyme
2 t ground coriander seed
2 t ground ginger root or to taste
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t ground cardamom
1 cup good red wine
1 cup sour cream
salt to taste

Peel and dice the first four ingredients, and put in a large pot.
Yeah, it seems like a whole lot of garlic, but it makes a lot of
soup and it's going to cook for a long time. Add the seasonings,
then the wine, then water until the veggies are completely covered.
Bring to a boil and then slowly simmer, stirring occasionally, for
hours. You cannot overcook it at this point. When you think it's
ready, test the largest chunk of carrot you can find--it should be
quite soft.

Strain the soup through a colander, reserving the liquid. Puree
the veggies in a food processor--you'll probably have to do this
in batches. Use a little of the liquid to help it form a smooth
puree. Stir the sour cream into the puree; you may not want to
use the whole cup, so try adding less and tasting it.

Strain the reserved broth into the puree through a fine-meshed
sieve. (The spices will have given up all their flavor by now, and
they make the soup kinda gritty.) Stir it in, and then *carefully*
salt it.

Makes lots--probably enough for a first course for 10. Serve warm.
If desired, you can simmer some broccoli florets in the strained
broth while you're pureeing and then throw those in for color and
texture contrast.


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