Cream of carrot soup
2 lbs. carrots
2 medium potatoes
3 or 4 large onions
1-2 *fists* of garlic (not cloves!)
About 1 T dried thyme
About 2 t ground coriander seed
about 2 t ground ginger root (less if you don't like hot food)
About 1/2 t black pepper
about 1/2 t ground cardamom
about 1 C good red wine
1 C sour cream
salt to taste
Peel and dice the first four ingredients, and put in a large pot.
It seems like a whole lot of garlic, but it makes a lot of soup and it's going to cook for a long time. Add the seasonings, then the wine, then water until the veggies are completely covered.
Bring to a boil and then slowly simmer, stirring occasionally, for hours.
You cannot overcook it at this point.
When you think it's ready, test the largest chunk of carrot you can find--it should be quite soft.
Strain the soup through a colander, reserving the liquid.
Puree the veggies in a food processor--you'll probably have to do this in batches.
Use a little of the liquid to help it form a smooth puree.
Stir the sour cream into the puree; you may not want to use the whole cup, so try adding less and tasting it.
Strain the reserved broth into the puree through a fine-meshed sieve. (The spices will have given up all their flavor by now, and they make the soup kinda gritty.)
Stir it in, and then *carefully* salt it.
Makes lots--probably enough for a first course for 10.
If desired, you can simmer some broccoli florets in the strained broth while you're pureeing and then throw those in for color and texture contrast.