Deborah Madison's Ivory Carrot Soup with a Fine Dice of Orange Carrots


[Photograph: Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton]

I am a big fan of rainbow carrots, so I'm no stranger to surprisingly stark white carrots. Yet Deborah Madison's Ivory Carrot Soup from her new cookbook Vegetable Literacy was still a bit of a mind game for me. The finished soup tasted purely of carrot, but my eyes were convinced that I was slurping down potato-leek or some kind of parsnip concoction. Served with a warm slice of buttered bread, this soup is the perfect winter-spring transition meal.

Why I picked this recipe: Carrots are sweet enough to seem like a spring vegetable, but easy to find even before the first asparagus breaks the ground.

What worked: Elegant and striking, this carrot soup would have been the perfect tricky dish to serve on April Fool's.

What didn't: I'm not sure what the benefit was to heating 3 cups of broth while simmering the carrots with 1 cup. Next time, I'll just add it all at once. I'd also probably drop the sugar next time; carrots are sweet enough on their own.

Suggested tweaks: The recipe will, of course, work with any color carrots you've got. I used vegetable stock instead of water or chicken broth--all three would work fine.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Vegetable Literacy to give away this week.