Chef Joe Cipro's recipe of the week

Vegetable Soup With Spiced Crème Fraîche




Ingredients (serves 4)

2 large carrots (peeled & diced)

1 onion (peeled & diced)

1 fennel bulb (trimmed & diced)

1 green pepper (trimmed, deseeded, & diced)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1/2 bunch of thyme

1 bay leaf

4 red potatoes (diced)

1 c diced butternut squash

1 c diced celery

2 Tbsp tomato paste

3 c vegetable stock

2 c water

1/2 lemon, juiced and zested

1/4 c crème fraîche

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp paprika

1 pinch of nutmeg

1 pinch of cinnamon

3 Tbsp canola oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Begin by heating two tablespoons of canola oil over medium high heat in a large, deep soup pot. Add the celery, onion, garlic, green pepper, fennel, and carrots. Allow the vegetables to sweat for five minutes while stirring often.

Add vegetable stock and the water. Allow everything to come to a boil while watching it and stirring often. Reduce the soup to a simmer and add the tomato paste, the herbs, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Remember to taste the soup throughout the cooking process.

Allow the soup to simmer with a lid on for 90 minutes. After 60 minutes, add the potatoes and butternut squash to the soup and allow them to cook for the rest of the time.

Whip up the spiced crème fraîche. To begin, take a small sauté pan and heat it over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of canola oil and allow it to become hot. Add the spices.

Let the spices heat up, or bloom in the oil to release some of their flavor. This is a fairly quick process over medium heat. The result should have the consistency of a paste. Allow the paste to cool. Whisk it into your crème fraîche with the lemon juice and zest. When the soup is done and ready to serve, add a healthy spoonful to give the dish a nice, cool kick.