Dill Carrot Soup

2 tablspoons butter
1 cup leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
4 cups carrots, peeled, 1/4 inch dice
4 cups russet potatoes, peeled, 1/4 inch dice
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups half-and-half, warm
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and white pepper to taste
dash tobasco
2 tablespoons dill, chopped

  1. heat the butter. Saute the leeks, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  2. Add the carrots and potatoes. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the thyme and bay leaf and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf.
  4. Puree vegetables and liquid in a blender. Add remaining ingredients. Correct seasoning and bring back to almost a boil.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with dill.

Chef: Looks pretty, too thick, should thin with stock or milk.

Chef Tip: Ginger would be a nice addition to this recipe, its flavor compliments carrot well. Also, if you want to have add a different color garnish on top of soup, try carrot juice. It will keep the flavor profile, but just add a slight contrast of color/texture. Our team garnished with sour cream and I thought the flavors went nicely together.

Personal/Team: overall, flavor was good, but I think it had too much tobasco; the vinegary flavor was overpowering the other flavors.

Lessons Learned: It's important to be flexible with recipes, expecially something like a soup and adjust liquid and seasonings appropriately. Following the recipe is no excuse for not knowing how to cook. A spoon should not stand up in a soup and you can always add ingredients if they compliment the dish.