All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 29 oz can Pure Pumpkin
3 cups chopped carrots
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender blossoms (http://www.amazon.com/JR-Mushrooms-Specialties-Culinary-Lavender/dp/B0002NYO20)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 TBS raw sugar
Sour cream and/or half & half for garnish
Cilantro or mint sprig – decoration only. 🙂
Boil the water and add the lavender. Remove from heat and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the lavender out of the water with cheesecloth.
In a saucepan over medium fire, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic and onions for 3 minutes.
Add the chopped carrots and stir for 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it boil. Add the lavender infused water and bring it to a boil; reserve 1/2 a cup of lavender water. Add the canned pumpkin. Mix well. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Let it cool. Once it is cool enough to blend without risk of scalding yourself, puree it in a blender in batches until smooth.
Melt the butter in a pan. Add the half and half, the remaining lavender water and mix well. Add this to your pureed carrots & pumpkin. Mix well. Add nutmeg, ginger, sugar and season with salt. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls and pour a thin stream of half & half in a pretty pattern into each bowl of soup. Add a dollop of sour cream (if you are using it) and garnish with cilantro or mint sprig (if you have it). Parsley or sage would also work. It is just decoration after all. Crack fresh pepper over each bowl & serve.