Carrot Cider Soup
My husband and I were lucky enough to go to the restaurant Square One in San Francisco many years ago. And we were on expense account. There’s just something about that benefit that makes the dining experience even more wonderful!
The restaurant, owned by chef Joyce Goldstein, opened in 1984. According to an article I found online, Joyce Goldstein was “one of, if not the first, to explore Mediterranean food with her interpretations of specialties from Turkey, Italy, Greece, Morocco and other sun-washed countries.”
All I remember was that the menu was impressive and the food delicious. I unfortunately don’t remember any specifics of that night. I’m guessing our wine was plentiful, however, this dining experience was 30 years ago!
In 1992 Joyce Goldstein published the cookbook Back to Square One – Old-World Food in a New-World Kitchen.
Recently I decided to peruse some older cookbooks of mine, and I immediately fell in love with Back to Square One again. There are so many recipes I want to try, like Balkan crab salad with walnuts and lemon mayonnaise. As well as recipes I want to make again, like Catalan-style quail stuffed in roasted peppers with olives.
This weekend we’re having our favorite people over to raclette` and I found a soup in the cookbook that will be perfect to begin our feast.
The actual name of Joyce Goldstein’s soup is French Apple Cider and Carrot Soup. It’s a carrot soup with the addition of hard cider. To make it a little more festive, I decided to top off the soup with a little crème fraiche and some julienned apples.
Unfortunately I’m not so good at presentation, but here is the recipe:
French Apple Cider and Carrot Soup
Back to Square One
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup hard apple cider
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent and sweet, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the carrot chunks and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are very tender.
Purée the soup in the blender or food processor, using only as much of the stock as necessary to purée the carrots.
Transfer the purée to a clean saucepan and then add the apple cider, the cream, and as much of the remaining stock as necessary to think the soup to the desired consistency.
I actually added the cider and cream while the soup was still in the blender jar.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of sugar or nutmeg if the soup needs sweetening.
I added a small dollop of creme fraiche, and a few jullienned apples, plus freshly ground nutmeg, and also pink peppercorns.
note: After making this soup with the uncooked hard cider, I have a few thoughts.
1. In spite of the low alcohol content, the flavor is too sharp and raw for the soup.
2. Perhaps the hard cider would work better after first a reduction of 50%.
3. Regular apple cider would work, but it should be added along with the chicken broth.
4. A splash of Calvados could add a little flavor, but I recommend adding it along with the chicken broth.
5. Including a cored apple or pear to the carrots would add a natural sweetness to the soup.
I’ve not heard of hard cider but the soup looks great!
It’s an alcoholic. cider, sometimes pear instead of apple. I first had it in London. It’s a nice alternative to beer. Strongbow is my favorite
Oh I know Strongbow, silly me, didn’t twig!
What a great combination!
What a great coincidence. I am serving raclette tomorrow so we make your soup as a starter.
Ah raclette. Such a wonderful cheese and activity!
What a lovely simple soup. In regards to hard cider…I like it a lot, but I find they all taste different. There are some I like way more than others. My guess is that might have something to do with the taste. In any case, I think your suggestions are great and lloking through old cookbooks is always fun!
I’m no expert, but I’ve never met one I didn’t like! I just think it’s the alcohol that adds the harsh raw taste. I’ll just cook the soup a little before serving!
This soup looks so mouth-watering! I love soups of all kinds, and I have never tried using cider in soup. Thank you for sharing!
I’ve only used an actual apple!
Good morning Chef Mimi – I love your blog and seeing that soup just made me hungry! Wanted to pop by and say thank you for sharing such a lovely recipe, I look forward to trying it soon!
You’re so sweet. Thank you!
I think I agree with your assessment to reduce the alcohol before adding. The soup sounds very elegant and delicious, though! I love my old cookbooks too!
I have that book. Goldstein’s gravlax recipe is the very best proportions of salt/sugar/booze I’ve ever used, in fact it’s the one I always use. I haven’t made much else from it but I’ll get it off the shelf today for another look. I think your soup presentation is beautiful.
Thank you! And very good to know about the gravlax. It’s so fun looking through old cookbooks, isn’t it?!!!
I find soups the hardest to “present:! Ahhh, anything 1984 is dear to my heart. Thanks for this recipe and introduction to Chef Goldstein.
Hahahaha! At least the cookbook isn’t all ab out pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. Those were the culinary 80’s to me!
It’s so funny, Mimi, when I first saw this recipe title I thought, “I’m not a huge carrot soup fan.” Then, honestly, I saw your photo and thought, “I definitely need to make this recipe!” It looks so creamy and delicious. It just goes to show you that you need to keep an open mind when it comes to food… And, well, life in general.
Ain’t that the truth! And honestly, how could you not like carrot soup?!!!!
I have never eaten at Square One in
San Francisco . The soup looks delicious and I am going to try it. I am going to google the restaurant.
It closed down after 16 years, I think.
Oh this is too funny, great mind think alike as I just posted a carrot soup! I love your version. Fabulous. :)
Oh that’s funny – I’ll go check it out!
Thank you. This looks marvelous and I’m going to make it this week!!
oooh that sounds so good! I love carrots and apples in soup, so how genius to combine them!!
Definitely! But I would highly recommend cooking the hard cider in to the soup!
This sounds really intreguing. There’s so much variety among ciders. I’m fond of them and have tried many. I would drink an Angry Orchard any day. But there are paler, more delicate ciders, like Strongbow, that might be interesting in a soup like this. And then there are others that are so sweet, or tart, or spicy, that the soup could go in different directions. It’d be interesting to taste the differences. Thanks for passing this along!
I actually set out to purchase Strongbow, but my liquor store didn’t have it in. That’s pretty typical for where I live. Like I told someone else, I’ve never met a hard cider I didn’t like! They are all good to me!
Me too, big cider fan. There are some cider pubs that have opened up in Chicago, and I’ve really been enjoying them.
Oh fun! I’d never heard of cider until I moved my daughter to London in 2009. I was so happy to discover it!
I love soups during winter and carrot is one of my favorites! Delicious ingredients make delicious dishes! I love your soup!
Thank you so much! I also love squash soups. Well, I love them all.
I had that cookbook back in the day, but I think it didn’t survive one of my purges. And, too bad, as that soup looks quite good!
Awww, well that happens! I completely understand!
Bookmarked for winter, love the look of this soup Mimi.
I always forget you’re “down there!”
I love using cider in salad dressings but haven’t tried it in soup. Seems like a perfect marriage of flavors with the carrot. This looks particularly luscious with the added cream! :)
Thank you. I’ve added apple and pear, but never juice or cider. I really felt that the hard cider required some cooking.
This looks like a deliciously sweet and savory soup! We’re definitely going to have to give this one a try.