Carrot and Star Anise Soup

I’d argue that anise is probably the most polarizing of all flavors…either you love it or you despise anything that tastes remotely like it, read: fennel, black licorice…  The surprising addition of star anise to this simple carrot soup however, lends such a soft lovely flavor I’d urge even the most die hard anise-haters to give it a try.

Ingredients:
2 T butter & olive oil
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
6 whole star anise
3 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 lbs. carrots
6 cups stock – either chicken or vegetable
S&P

Give the onions and garlic a rough chop (all will be pureed so it doesn’t have to be pretty.)  Melt butter and oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onions and cook until soft.  Add aromatics (garlic, star anise, thyme, bay leaves) and cook another 5 minutes or so.Full disclosure, I did not peel these carrots, only gave them a good scrub.  After scrubbing (or peeling, for traditionalists) place in pot and cover with stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 30 minutes or so until the carrots are very tender.  Remove the bay leaves, star anise and thyme.  Blend using a food processor, blender or immersion blender.

When making a pureed soup it’s best to start with just the solid mass (veggies), puree well and then stream in liquid until it reaches a consistency you’re happy with.  Taste and season to your liking with salt and pepper.

For a little extra crunch, top this (or any!) soup with quick and buttery croutons:
Cut bread in small, like sized cubes.  Heat 3-4 T butter in non-stick pan until it starts bubbling.  Place cubes of bread in the hot pan, toss them around until browned equally on all sides. Once browned to your liking cool on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
You’d think with what a simple recipe this was I would have gotten it to you earlier in the week…sorry for the delay folks, but at least you have it in time for Sunday supper!

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About amyreneesam

food lover. loud laugher. wine-o.
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