RECIPE Hero Vegetable: CARROT Carrot Ginger Soup From: Seasonal Recipes from the Garden: A Garden Home Cookbook, P. Allen Smith Ingredients 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter 8 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 2 celery ribs, including tops, chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger 6 cups chicken broth 1 cup half-and-half, or to taste 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper Sour cream (optional) Cracked black pepper (optional) Directions: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until the onions are soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Simmer until the carrots are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Puree the mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and heat to boiling. Add the half-and-half, salt and white pepper, and serve immediately. The soup is beautiful with a swirl of sour cream and a dash of cracked black pepper.