by Florence Fabricant, from the New York Times

This sounds fancy but it's actually quite easy to make carrot soup from scratch. It's the perfect summertime soup, it involves no rich cream or milk, just a simple puree so the taste is really bright and layered with an impressive combination of sweet but lemony, salty, delicate and spicy. Basically, all of the above and you will like this. You can nix the mussels if you are not a fan, but none of the other ingredients are not to be compromised.

We've made this quite a few times already and it's becoming one of our favorite dinnertime meals, with a chunk of crusty baguette or arugula salad and some wine (Fabricant recommends a Riesling but any good white wine would do).

Click here or on the continue link below for the recipe...

Images: Sketchbook Drawing, Photos of Morocco unknown, Lanvin Resort 2010


by Florence Fabricant, from the New York Times

Time: 1 hour

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 bunches carrots, peeled, in 1-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

1 pound mussels, scrubbed

*My own note on preparing mussels: Fresh live mussels should be closed before cooking. If the shell is open, simple tap the mussel on a hard surface. If the mussel is still fresh/live it will shut by itself!

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves.

1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a 3-quart saucepan. Add onion. Cook over low heat until starting to soften. Stir in cumin, cook briefly, stirring. Add carrots and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool briefly. Purée in a blender in two batches. Return soup to saucepan, season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice. Set aside until shortly before serving.

2. Place mussels in a shallow 2-quart saucepan or sauté pan. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil, toss over high heat about a minute, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until mussels open, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove mussels, draining well so juices stay in pan. Discard any that do not open. When mussels are cool enough to handle, shuck them into a bowl, discard shells and toss mussels with remaining oil and the cilantro. Strain mussel broth and add to soup.

3. Reheat soup. To serve, place a few mussels in each of 6 warm soup plates. Serve plates to guests. Ladle soup over mussels at the table. If not using mussels, fold cilantro into soup, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle each portion with remaining oil.

Yield: 6 servings.

StyleBernadette Marie