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Carrot Soup | Wild Rice | Walnut

I love photography because it's about light. Knowing the light. Seeing it.

Then yesterday I read that in the depths of winter, we should focus on the things we can only see in the darkness. The lack of light. I like that perspective.

This soup was made with some wild rice I got as part of a holiday gift. The precious, hand harvested grains are from the wilds of Minnesota, where the cold is profound, and the lakes reflect the sun as sparkling movement above the dark waters.

This recipe gets its bold flavor from the nutty wild rice and double dose of walnuts and walnut oil. The soups itself is simple, but once all the components are together, it's magic.

This makes enough for four people.

1 cup wild rice

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup walnut pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and trimmed

Preheat your oven to 400F

Add 1 cup of wild rice to 4 cups of simmering, salted water. Reduce the heat to low and let cook for 50 minutes. I don't bother with covering it. You can though. When it's done, turn off the heat and cover the pan until ready to drain and use.

Meanwhile, arrange the walnuts in a cast iron skillet and toast in the oven (or toaster oven) for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and then remove the nuts from the pan and let cool while you make the soup. They will continue to brown if you leave them in the hot pan.

In a large sauce pan melt the butter over low heat and add the onion. Stir until softened. Add the carrot and stir to coat. Add 6 cups of vegetable (onion) stock and bring to a simmer. Season with a large pinch of salt.

Simmer the carrots until soft enough to pierce with a knife. Using a slotted spoon transfer the vegetables to a high powered blender and top with 1/3 of the broth to - carefully - puree until smooth.

Taste and add white pepper, sugar and salt as needed. You may need the sugar if the carrots were older.

With the blender running, slowly drizzle in 1 tablespoon of walnut oil. Taste again.

Add the pureed soup back to the pot with the remaining broth and stir to combine.

Divide the soup between four warm bowls. Top with the cooked rice and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

With the components stored separately, the soup will stay fresh in the fridge for up to four days.

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