Monday, August 2, 2010

Gingered Carrot Soup and a Sunday at Wiawaka Holiday House

Late yesterday  morning I drove up I-87 north toward Lake George.  I got off at exit 21 and took a short ride to the southeast end of the lake and turned into the driveway of the Wiawaka Holiday House.  I've been going there once a summer for the past five or six years, at the invitation of my friend Catherine Golden and her sister Pam Golden (aka "The Golden Girls!").  It was a special day for these accomplished sisters as Catherine gave a lively and informative talk on her new book and a few hours later, Pam dedicated a beautiful sculpture she created to honor this special place.

Pam Golden's Sculpture, Dedicated to Wiawaka Holiday House

Opposite Side of the Sculpture, facing the Lake

The Golden Girls:
Catherine (seated), Pam (L), and cousin Caren (R)

It is obvious that Wiawaka has come to mean so much to the Golden family, and to so many others.  Wiawaka Holiday House opens its doors to any woman who wants to get away for a day or longer.  Their overnight fee is determined by a sliding scale.  For day use, which was for me lunch and a swim, the charge was $25, a great investment in time to stop, relax, and enjoy the absolutely beautiful setting and camaraderie of other women.

View of the Lake from Wiawaka's Boat House and Dock

Yesterday's lunch was soup, salad, and a nice assortment of Rock Hill breads, served with iced tea or lemonade.  There were oatmeal and peanut butter cookies for dessert.  The soup choices were a chicken rice or gingered carrot.  I opted for the carrot soup when a woman came up and said, "I never do this, but this soup was so good, I'm having a second helping!"  That's a pretty good recommendation, and I went with it. The first thing I did when I got home (after spending some time hanging out with my daughter Katie and  grandson Henry) was look up a recipe for this delicious soup.  This recipe, from the Food Network, has earned five stars and most reviewers raved about it, so I'm sharing it with you.


2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and white pepper
Sour cream
Parsley sprigs, for garnish

    In a 6-quart pan, over medium high heat, add butter and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp. Add broth, carrots, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced.

    Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Don't fill the blender more than half way, do it in batches if you have to. Cover the blender and then hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender*. Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender. Pulse the blender to start it and then puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add cream, stir over high heat until hot. For a smoother flavor bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.

    Ladle into bowls and garnish with dollop sour cream and parsley sprigs.

    *When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

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