This became one of my favorite soups after I had it years ago in a little, unexceptional Paris bistro. The waiter delicately mounded an island of freshly grated Carottes de Crécy into the bowl in front of me, then ladled the fragrant soup around it. It was perfection. This classic carrot soup is claimed by Crécy-la-Chapelle in the Seine-et-Marne department and Crécy-en-Ponthieu of the Somme department. Both towns are widely known for their carrots and, interestingly, any French recipe bearing the name Crécy is made with carrots. You'll either see this soup as Purée Crécy, Potage de Crécy or sometimes as Potage Crecy a la briarde.
At any rate, I always have a couple pounds of fat carrots in my fridge. None of those little silly 'baby' carrots. I'm not sure what those are good for - beyond lame conference room 'crudité' platters. I buy carrots with potential. That will be wonderful for almost any preparation. Big carrots can be cut down to any size, dice or baton.
And, I don't peel carrots. In fact, I rarely peel any vegetable. I think it's a waste. I keep a few scrubby pads in the window sill for cleaning root vegetables. A quick scrub and a rinse, and you're good to go.
The flavor of this soup belies it's relative simplicity. Water for broth. Cut up carrots, a Yukon Gold potato, a couple of peeled and diced Shallots, raw cashews, seasonings.
For my basic, salt-free broth, I use my own 'Court Bouillon powder' made from ground up dehydrated vegetable soup mix that I order from It's Delish. The dehydrated mix keeps really well in the freezer or pantry for adding to soups. I take a couple of cups, though, and put it through my spice grinder ... making the fine powder that you see above. I keep it in a jar for sprinkling into water for the fastest, nicest, sodium-free vegetable broth you can imagine. This gives me more control over the sodium in my cooking.
Dehydrated vegetable soup mix by It's Delish.
My other 'secret weapon' is a big bottle of Maggi Arome (similar to Worcestershire Sauce) when I've just gotta have that French "Je ne sais quoi" - that certain something that whispers France. A few splashes of that, with some white wine in water, and you've nailed broth. For a more classic Court Bouillon for poaching, look no further than Rouxbe Culinary Academy - where I completed the Forks Over Knives Ultimate Plant-based course... which I highly recommend.
You can use this broth for just about any application, including oil-free 'wet sauté' method. I'll often mix up about one-half cup of this broth, and add a splash or two when wet sautéing vegetables.
For this recipe, you'll need one quart of broth, and you'll cook the carrots, potato, shallots and cashews in this broth.
Just three minutes in your Instant Pot, on High Pressure. Natural Release. While you're waiting for the carrots et al to cook, get your high-speed blender out and ready. I have a refurbished 64-ounce VitaMix blender that I love - and purchased on Amazon for considerably less than new. I couldn't tell that it had been used. I've given it a year of hard use, and it's still great. Because I have the larger carafe, I can process this entire recipe at once. If you've got a smaller blender, then you should anticipate doing it in batches.
The soup will be relatively 'dark' at first, then lighten up considerably as you blend it to creamy perfection.
Next, taste and adjust the flavors. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. I added more onion powder, Herbes de Provence, a spoonful of white wine vinegar for 'brightness', then a few good squeezes of honey. Balance the sweet and tart.
The finished soup should be velvety smooth.
Since you're going to have about 60 ounces, why not do as I did, and freeze some for another time?
This recipe gave us about four servings now, and a couple larger servings in the freezer - using my FoodSaver vacuum system. I call that a good investment. If you decide to buy a FoodSaver machine, be sure to get the one with the small hand-held sealer for re-usable, zip-lok bags. It works especially well when storing nuts, seeds, raisins and similar in the freezer. You can get what you need, zip the bag closed, pull out the air and return it to the freezer.
I love to garnish soups like this with a thinned-down (with plant milk) cashew cream. The cashew cream is so easy and keeps well in the fridge. Simply cover about a cup of raw cashews with boiling water, allow to 'steep' for about 30 minutes. Drain. Put into your high-speed blender with 'just enough' plant milk to emulsify. Refrigerate. It works great for drizzling over baked yams, or making a quick creamy sauce, too! I also used finely minced green onions on the top of the cashew cream.
Hey, if you like or make this dish, would you mind posting the recipe to Yummly? I'd really appreciate that. The Yummly icon is on the right side of this webpage. Oh, and saving to Pinterest would also be great! Each photo should have a Pinterest icon in the upper left corner! Thanks!
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