Puree of Carrot Soup

Today's lunch: Puree of Carrot Soup with a dollop of Homemade Creme Fraiche and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios. I needed to use up the last few local carrots I had stashed in my crisper! The Creme Fraiche adds just a slight velvety tang; you could always substitute sour cream. I shelled a bunch of pistachios yesterday because one day soon I am going to bake some Chocolate Biscotti with Dried Bing Cherries and Pistachios!

2 Tablespoons butter
1 small or 1/2 a large onion, coarsely chopped
2 large stalks celery, sliced
4 cups sliced carrots
2 cups good quality chicken or vegetable broth, preferably without MSG! (I rarely have homemade on hand)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I used white pepper)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste (will depend on how much sodium is in the broth)
1 cup milk (1% is fine, but you can use whole or 2% if that's what you have)

Melt the butter in a large kettle. Toss in the onion and celery and let them begin to cook while you pare and slice the carrots. Add the sliced carrots to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until the onion becomes transparent. Pour in the broth, add the pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer about twenty minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Add the milk and puree right in the pot with a hand blender or puree in batches in a regular blender. Season to taste with the sea salt. Serve in warm bowls with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped nuts or snipped chives. Makes about four servings.

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