Sunday, November 13, 2011
I've had this recipe on my mind ever since I heard about it, and got my hands on a pressure cooker (which is essential). The pressure cooker along with some baking soda (which increases the pH and in turn speeds up the Maillard reaction) enable the carrots to caramelise.
You can find the original recipe by Nathan Myhrvold at www.foodandwine.com, and in his book Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (which would make an excellent Christmas pressie). I have altered it slightly, by using vegetable stock instead of carrot juice, olive oil in place of butter and a touch of peanut. So the original recipe is all about the carrot, my tweaks use it as a base flavour.
Peel and chop 500 grams of carrots place in a pressure cooker along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. The strength of the caramel aroma is quite surprising.
Once the time is up release the pressure (if electric use the pressure release valve or traditional run it under cold water to lower the pressure). Pour in 500 ml of vegetable stock (make sure it's not too strong flavoured, as you don't want to muddy the flavour of carrot. Dilute it if you have to), add 1/2 teaspoon of salt (coarse/kosher) and purée with a dash more olive oil and a spoon of good peanut butter (by good I mean an ingredient list that has only peanuts and salt) don't overdo the peanut butter as it will over power the soup.
Once puréed pass it through a fine sieve, and then warm through before serving. Garnish with caraway seeds, flaked dried chilli, olive oil and natural yoghurt.