When I was living in England after college, a friend of mine won an award for showing her horse and she invited me to go the fancy schmancy awards dinner. At the dinner they served the most delicious cream of carrot soup! I was hooked. Of course, I didn't cook then, so you know, that one bowl was it. But I've had fond memories of it ever since.
Several years ago when I had no idea how to cook, but I was learning (thanks Emeril, Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver!), I decided to try and recreate that fantastic soup. How hard could it be? It was mashed carrots after all with maybe a little cream or something. So what I did was peel a whole bunch of carrots and chop them up. I might've actually shredded them, I don't remember. Anyway, I put a little water over them and boiled the tar out of them and then I pureed them and added some cream. Guess what I ended up with? Nope, not delicious soup worthy of a fancy schmancy awards dinner. Basically I had baby food. And like any baby, I spit it out and threw it away.
Over the years I have had other creamy carrot soups and they've been delicious, but after that first attempt, I really just couldn't face trying it again, even though I now know what I did wrong (ever heard of stock? or seasonings?). However, this week, organic carrots were on sale and I came across what looked like a tasty recipe by Delia Smith, chef extraordinaire, and British to boot. For all I know, she made that soup I ate so many years ago! Mine is simmering now and while I'm not sure how it will taste in the end, it smells fabulous.
And as you can see by the photo, the deer is especially appreciative of my efforts. He just ate peelings from six POUNDS of carrots! Did you know deer teeth are not very sharp? Good thing since he mistook my hand for a carrot a few times.
In case you're wondering about the bread, I think I will go with the old stand-by NY Times no knead bread. It just seems like the perfect bread for this soup, all crusty and chewy (and really easy to make so I can be lazy!).