Carrot Soup with Crème Fraîche Toasts
Brioche is a light, airy bread often used to make toasts and croutons for refined dishes, such as this pureed carrot soup. Look for brioche in a well-stocked market or bakery. Or, if you like, you can make your own (see related recipe at left). The soup and toasts can be prepared a day ahead. Store the soup, covered, in the refrigerator, then reheat before serving. Keep the toasts in an airtight container at room temperature. While the soup reheats, top the toasts with the crème fraîche.
- 4 slices brioche or other firm, slightly sweet bread, about 1/4 inch thick, crusts trimmed
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 tsp. crème fraîche
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Cut each bread slice on the diagonal to make 8 triangles. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through baking. Transfer to a plate.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover and let the soup stand for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pan until smooth. Alternatively, working in batches, puree the soup in a standing blender or food processor until smooth. Reheat the soup over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the crème fraîche on each toast triangle, dividing it evenly. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and float 2 toasts on each serving. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).