Carrot Soup with Ginger and Leeks
Since this smooth and creamy soup gets blended at the end, there is no need to spend a lot of time chopping up the vegetables into perfect dimensions. The soup can be prepared up to a few days ahead and reheated before garnishing and serving.
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
- 12 oz. smoked sausage, sliced into ¼-inch half moons
- 2 leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced (4 oz.)
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 4 tbsp. thinly sliced peeled ginger
- 3 hot red chiles, such as Thai, stemmed and coarsely chopped, or substitute 1 ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
- 8 cups chopped carrots (2 lb. 5 oz.)
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a large (7- to 8-quart) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the smoked sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the oil and set aside for later.
- In the same pot, add the leeks, garlic, ginger, and chiles, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, the remaining tablespoon olive oil, the kosher salt, and some black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have softened slightly, about 5 minutes more. Add the broth and orange juice and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are completely tender, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Puree the soup with immersion blender, or working in batches in a food processor or high-powered blender, until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot if needed, and stir in the heavy cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with some of the reserved sausage, the chopped parsley, and a small drizzle of olive oil.