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.
Serve warm.
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.