The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity and the caramelization reaction that occurs at high temperatures. People often confuse caramelization and browning (Maillard reaction), but they are distinct processes. The Maillard reaction occurs between sugars and amino acids under heat, whereas caramelization is a browning of sugars. Though there are few ingredients in the recipe, the sugars in the carrots result in a soup that has a rich caramel flavor that is great for the winter season.
This recipe requires a pressure cooker. If you do not own one, a taste of this soup might change your mind. They’re simple to use, inexpensive, and extremely useful in the kitchen for a multitude of purposes, especially for reducing the cooking times of tougher ingredients.
The recipe works well with beets as well.
500 g (5 cups/5 medium) peeled carrots
113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
30 g (1/8 cup) water
5 g (1 1/4 tsp) salt
2.5 g (3/8 tsp) baking soda
635 g (2 1/2 cups) carrot juice, vegetable stock, or water
1) Quarter the carrots lengthwise and cut into 2″ long pieces.
2) Melt the butter in the base of a pressure cooker over medium heat.
3) Combine the water, salt, and baking soda, then add with the carrots and melted butter into the pressure cooker. Stir to combine.
4) Pressure cook at 1 bar/15 psi (standard) for 20 minutes. Begin timing when full pressure is reached.
5) Depressurize the cooker by running under tepid water.
6) Puree the mixture using a blender.
7) Bring the carrot juice/stock/water to a boil in a separate pot, then stir in the carrot puree.
8) Season additionally if desired, then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of the Modernist Cuisine cookbook.