Let’s deem winter soup and sandwich season! Chef Karista Bennett, creator of the blog Karista's Kitchen, stopped by to share one of her favorite combos. For more great recipes from Karista, visit her website.
Carrot Ginger Soup with Grilled Cheddar and Apple Butter Sandwiches
- 2 tablespoons butter (for vegan version use coconut oil)
- 12 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 medium to large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 6-8 pieces
- 2 cups carrot juice
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups vegetable broth, or more as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 - 1 cup heavy cream (for vegan version, skip the heavy cream or use 1/2 cup canned whole coconut milk)
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Crème Fraiche for garnish* (for vegan version, use coconut cream or plain coconut yogurt for garnish)
Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the carrots, shallots, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme and ginger. Cook for about 8 - 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.
Then stir in carrot juice and at least 1 cup of vegetable broth or enough to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low and simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 30 – 40 minute, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are soft.
Remove the ginger slices, or as many as you can. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Using an immersion blender (hand blender) or pour the soup into a blender, Vitamix or food processor and puree until smooth. You may need to do this in stages as all the soup may not fit in the blender/food processor all at once.
Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and stir in the cream or coconut milk. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar. This will help to bring all the gorgeous flavors together.
If the soup feels too thick, stir in 1/4 cup of vegetable broth at a time until the consistency feels right.
Serve immediately. You can keep it warm on the stove if needed. Just keep the heat on low. This soup can be refrigerated and reheated stove top, or microwave. But it’s best freshly prepared. Serve with a dollop of crème Fraiche.
*Crème Fraiche is a French soured cream found in most U.S. markets today. It’s less sour than the American version. If you cannot find crème Fraiche in the market, substitute with plain whole fat Greek yogurt.
Grilled Cheddar and Apple Butter Sandwiches
Makes 2 Sandwiches
- 4 slices dark rye bread
- 4 slices of your favorite cheddar cheese
- 4-5 tablespoons apple butter
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
Place a skillet over low heat. Butter the outside of each slice of bread. Spread apple butter on the inside of each slice of bread.
Place 2 slices of cheese on 2 slices of bread and add them buttered side down to the warm skillet. I like to place a lid over the bread with the cheese to help melt the cheese.
Once the cheese begins to melt, remove the lid and top with the other slices of apple buttered bread. Flip the sandwiches and toast on the other side. Flip the sandwiches 1-2 more times to make sure each side is toasted, and the cheese is melted.
Transfer to a plate and let the sandwiches cool before slicing or serving.