Invest in an immersion blender

If you like making smooth, blended soups such as the one below from my new book, Everyone Can Cook Everything, invest in an immersion blender. This budget-friendly, hand-held device allows you to puree a soup right in the pot. That elimantes the need to transfer the hot soup to a food processor or blender, and, of course, the need to wash those machines afterward. Immession blender are availble at most kitchenware, hardware and department stores


Curried Carrot Soup

Make a light and delicious lunch by serving the soup with warm wedges of naan or pita bread.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 tsp (10-15 mL) mild curry powder
3 Tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh orange juice
2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange zest
salt and white pepper to taste
1/3 cup (75 mL) yogurt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh mint
for garnish small mint springs for garnish
Place the oil in a pot over medium heat. When it's hot, add the carrot, onion, ginger and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and flour and cook 2 minutes more. While stirring, slowly pour in stock. Mix in the orange juice and orange zest. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Purée the soup in a blender or food processor, or in the pot with an immersion blender. Return the soup to a simmer and season with salt and white pepper. Place the yogurt in a small bowl and mix in the chopped mint. Ladle the soup into bowls. Place a spoonful of yogurt in the center of each bowl and garnish it with a mint sprig.
Eric's options: This soup, without the yogurt and mint garnish, freezes well. If you have the time, double the recipe, cool what you don't need to room temperature and freeze it in a tightly sealed container. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the next day and top with minty yogurt.