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