Carrot Soup with Smoky-Spicy Butter

From My Kitchen, by Deborah Madison


For the carrot soup:
2 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 onion
1 lb. carrots, scrubbed well and sliced
sea salt and pepper
3 tablespoons white rice 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro stems
water, veggie or chicken stock

If you want to add the smoky-spicy butter for a more complex, rich flavor:
2 Tablespoons finely sliced green onion
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons hot or sweet paprika (not smoked)
2 teaspoons hot or sweet paprika (smoked)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or cilantro
sea salt
grated zest of one lime and juice of one lime
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature



Melt the coconut oil or ghee in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots and rice.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes, then add the cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric, along with about 1 teaspoon of salt, and some fresh ground black pepper.  Continue to cook for about five minutes.  Add 5 1/2 cups water or stock and bring it to a boil.  Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 25 minutes.  Let the soup cool a little, and then puree at least two cups of it (or all of it) until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and serve.  

Grind the green onion and garlic, paprikas, cumin, coriander, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lime zest and lime juice in a mortar to form a rough paste.  Stir the paste into the softened butter and make sure it is well blended.  Dollop a generous spoonful onto your soup!  If you have extra, roll it into a log with some plastic wrap or waxed paper and keep in the fridge.  You can cut off rounds and add to rice or soup to spice it up.