Our Spooky Soup with a Spiderweb is a treat on a Halloween night. Ghoulishly delicious carrot soup has a creamy web with a salty black widow spider. Swallow her up!
Start with mirepoix
Pssst, have you heard? The secret is out! Most soups start with mirepoix. And mirepoix (chopped onion, celery, and carrots.) is magic.
Mirepoix is often called the cornerstone of Cooking. Hipcooks has many classes that start with Mirepoix. It’s not because we like to put on silly French accents and dance around the room declaring “Mirepoix!” Though that is fun, too. It really is the base of many things delicious. Carrots are sweet, onions are pungent, and celery is nutty and crunchy. Together, they make magic.
Chop, chop, chop ‘til you drop!
If you’ve been to a Hipcooks class with knife skills (there are many,) you’ll know what to do. You can also purchase it pre-chopped. Once chopped, it will last at least several days in the fridge, so get a whole bunch done in one session. Or do as I do and cook a huge pot of soup: some to eat, some to keep (freeze), some to give away.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Whatever you’re making, start by “sweating” the mirepoix. That is, cook the veggies so that they lose their water content. Medium-high heat is fine, as long as you stir so that the veggies don’t burn or caramelize. First, heat some oil or butter in a skillet. Which to choose? Up to you! For Italian-y things, I use olive oil. When I want a little extra richness, I use butter. When I’m undecided, I use a bit of both. There’s no wrong answer here (hooray!) so tap into your mood. Add the mirepoix and stir every so often. You’ll see the sheen, smell the magic. How do you know when it has sweat enough? The pan will become dry. You’ll know it will need some liquid. And now the fun part. . .
Spooky Soup with a Spiderweb: which spice will you add?
Cover the mirepoix completely with liquid: which will you choose? Chicken stock is an option if you want richness in your soup. Water is the best choice for vegans or vegetarians. (There’s no need for veggie stock: there are enough veggies in the base of your soup, and you can add extra flavor through spices.)
Add enough liquid to cover the mirepoix, plus a little bit more – about half an inch. Continue to cook until the veggies are soft enough to blend. I have a Vitamix Blender, so I cook the mirepoix until it’s barely soft — my blender can handle making a smooth soup with little cooking. This way, the veggies can retain the maximum color and health.
Blend the soup (in batches if you need to). Remember to slow the blender gradually so you don’t have a soup explosion. Return the soup to a pot, and have fun with spices.
Taste the soup base, add a little salt and pepper if necessary, and then tap into your mood. What are you feeling? There’s no right answer, but many and multiple answers! Here are some suggestions, let this ignite your imagination, or choose one or some of the below:
cumin + a squeeze of orange juice
freshly grated ginger + ground ginger
turmeric + lemon zest
cinnamon + cumin + chile powder
Once the flavor of your soup makes you sing, serve it up. The edible garnish makes it Spooky. For a spiderweb, draw concentric circles of sour cream atop the soup. Use the tip of a knife to draw straight lines through the circles, working from the smallest circle a the center outwards. You’ll see a web appear before your eyes! Garnish your web with some black lava salt for a creepy look.