Modified from “The New Basics” by Dan Jurafsky. Modified again by George.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 1/2 lbs carrots chopped
- 2 ribs celery, leaves included, diced
- 8 cups chicken or vegetarian broth (Swansons won Cooks Illustrated taste test)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Sweat the olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots in the pot for 10-15 minutes. (I usually chop the onions first and get them going, then add the celery and carrots once they are chopped. Cooks Illustrated uses this sweating technique in their vegetable broth to enhance the flavor, and I like it in this soup too.)
Add the broth, (optional dell/red pepper), black pepper, cayenne. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover. Simmer until carrots are tender but still slightly firm, (30 minutes at sea level, ~1 hours in Boulder). In the old recipe, I waited until the carrots were soft, but this yields better texture.
Puree Soup in the pot with an electric hand blender. Adjust seasoning, heat through.