I don't know enough about Senegalese cuisine to vet whether this recipe is authentic—in fact I'm pretty sure I've never eaten a dish that someone claimed was truly Senegalese—but if this recipe is any indication, it's time I remedied this lack of knowledge. This is the carrot soup for people who hate carrot soup. There is something very surprising about it; how creamy and rich it is without a trace of cream (milk is used instead), the surprisingly perfect affinity of sweet carrots with complex curry spices.
As far as simple, deeply flavored recipes go, this one is a model citizen. A base of onions softened in butter start off the proceedings, then the carrots and spices and either vegetable or chicken stock. Simmered and pureed then thinned just-so with warm milk and topped with thick yogurt, it is the kind of soup you have in a restaurant and wonder about the recipe. It's also surprisingly filling as a main course. The secret: find some excellent, fresh curry powder to ensure the best flavor.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cups roughly chopped carrots
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoon good-quality, fresh curry powder
- 1.5 cups milk (or cream, for a very rich taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Thick yogurt as garnish
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until foam subsides. Add onions and saute until transparent, 5-8 minutes. Don't let them brown.
Add carrots and stir well to coat with butter, and cook until almost soft, 10-12 minutes more. Sprinkle curry powder over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until spices are very fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add stock and bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots are completely soft. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend, in batches if necessary, until completely pureed.
Return to saucepan and whisk in milk. Return to a simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide amongst bowls and top with yogurt. Soup can be served hot or cold.