What’s Up, Doc?

With the chill of autumn comes the inevitable drip, drip, drip of the rain. And the nose. Vegetable soups are perfect to fend off the outdoor and head cold; hardy, healthy, and, if you add a few warm spices like ginger and pepper, hot enough to clear up those sinuses.

Makes 5 to 6 cups
The honey in this recipe enhances the carrots’ sweetness, while the vinegar adds acidity for balance. This soup pairs nicely with peppery arugula. Ginger has a slow burn, so pass on it if you’re planning on serving this to kids. For a vegetarian option substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth.

For the Ginger Almonds:
2 teaspoons butter
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger

– Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and salt and cook, shaking pan continuously, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and cook until nuts are coated and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate and reserve.

For the Honey-Pepper Yogurt:
1 (6-ounce) container Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon pepper

– Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until serving time.

For the Soup:
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
Salt and pepper
4 to 5 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup cream (optional)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

– Melt the butter in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium heat, covered and stirring occasionally, until the carrots begin to soften, about 15 minutes.

– Add 4 cups of the broth and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the honey, vinegar, and cream (if using).

– With a ladle, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree in batches until smooth. Transfer pureed soup to a soup tureen or second pot. If you prefer a thinner soup, stir in some of the remaining broth until you achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

– Ladle the soup into bowls and top with yogurt and almonds.