Sunday, October 14, 2012

Carrot Chicken Curry Soup

I've been thinking about soups for a while now, and it's finally the perfect season!  I've got this corn chowder recipe from America's Test Kitchen that I want to try out, but I wasn't really up for it today.  In fact, I wasn't up for much -- I drove back down from the city today, and I had no desire whatsoever to stop at the grocery store.  I just wanted to get home.  Except I knew that I had barely any food in the house, and so as I was driving home I was already trying to come up with a game plan.  I knew I had at least a couple eggs, some bread-ends, and seltzer, so I knew I wouldn't starve.  So, yea, I just went straight home.

When I got home, I checked the fridge, and this is what I had: bag of baby carrots, a big red onion, a small red potato, and a slightly soft tomato.  The beginnings of a soup, but I wanted to make it more interesting.  I checked the cupboard - McDonalds Tangy Barebecue packet, soy sauce galore, Hidden Valley dressing mix, and curry powder.  Hmm, roasted carrots and curry...could be amazing.  But what about a protein?  I checked the freezer, and I found some chicken drumsticks.  I had bought them a while ago when they were on sale and was going to make chicken salad, but they weren't the easiest to break down.  There was still so much meat left on the bones that I didn't want to throw them away and waste them, so I threw them in a ziplock thinking I could use them in a soup some day.  So I took them out of the freezer and let them defrost a bit.  Then I went for a run.

When I got back from my run, I took a shower and decided it was time to get started.  I figured I could roast the carrots along with the drumsticks, so I put them on a baking sheet together, sprinkled them with a little olive oil and some of the curry powder, and threw them in the oven on 400°.  It didn't take long for the drumsticks to cook, less than ten minutes (if the were full drumsticks, probably longer).  I put the drumsticks to the side, but the carrots needed more time.  I thought it might be nice to roast the tomatoes, too, and maybe some of the onion and a clove of garlic.  I threw them on top of the chicken drippings on the pan so they could take in some of the flavor, and popped the baking tray back into the oven until everything was nice and roasted. 

In the meantime, I chopped the rest of the onion, the potato, and some more garlic (can't have enough, really).  I heated up a little olive oil in my soup pot, and tossed in the onions and garlic.  After they sweated through a little bit, I put in the potatoes so they could start cooking.  I kept the pot on medium heat so that they wouldn't burn while I tended back to the roasted veggies.

With the onions and potatoes going, I took the baking tray out of the oven.  I wanted to puree the carrots and make it the base for my soup, and I thought pureeing it with some of the other roasted vegetables would add a nice complexity.  So I threw in the carrots, the roasted garlic and onion, and one of the pieces of roasted tomato into my food processor.  I also poured in the juices at the bottom of the bowl that the chicken was resting in.  I put in a table spoon of curry powder, and a little salt and pepper.  I wish I had a little coconut milk to add in, that would be a nice touch.  I had some sour cream in the fridge leftover from tacos last week, so I used that as a substitute.  I also threw in a little water, so that I'd end up with a nice, creamy puree.  After a couple minutes in the food processor, I got the consistency I was looking for.  And man, was it tasty -- it didn't need any seasoning adjustments, it was perfect.

Going back to the stove, I chopped up the remaining pieces of roasted tomato, and threw them in the pot with the garlic, onions and potatoes.  I went to town on the drumsticks, taking off any meat I could find and adding them to the pot.  At this point, the potatoes were still a little firm, so I added the carrot puree to the pot, and maybe about a cup of water.  I turned the heat up to medium high, threw in another pinch of salt and pepper, and let it simmer for a while.

After a few more minutes, the potatoes softened up nicely, and I had myself two servings of a really great carrot chicken curry soup.  I topped it off with a little more of the sour cream to balance the heat of the curry.  So good, I couldn't help but eat the second serving immediately!
If I try this again, I might try the coconut milk instead of the sour cream -- I think that would be really tasty.  And I think a little chive on top would be really good too!  But, for being a little bit lazy, and a little bit creative, this turned out really great.