Carrot Soup with Sesame Seeds & Chives
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 3 ½ cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped leeks or sweet onion
- ½ cup chopped celery or fennel
- 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 t. oriental sesame oil
- 2 cups ½ inch bread cubes (from day-old crustless French bread)
- 1 ½ T. toasted sesame seeds
- 2 T. chopped fresh chives
Melt 2 T. butter in heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, leeks, and celery. Cover and cook until vegetables soften slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Whisk cream, sour cream, and ½ teaspoon sesame oil into soup. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter with remaining ½ teaspoon sesame oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes and sauté until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Bring soup almost to simmer over medium heat. Ladle into bowls. Mound croutons in center of each. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chives and serve. Serves 6.