With stock production at its peak in Julie's Kitchen and the Lakers-Celtics series going on, there couldn't have been a more perfect time to entertain. I always like starting with something light to awaken the taste buds. Sometimes it's a salad. This night is was a soup. I roasted a bunch of yellow carrots to concentrate their sweetness and add a nice brown caramelization. That equals more flavor. When you are making a vegetable puree sort of soup, the more sophisticated and complex your flavors are the better. Simple ingredients are great. Simple flavor is not. Under season your stock and your guests will wonder why you are serving them mushy baby food! Ick!
Another way to keep the flavor of simple soup from falling flat, is garnish. A nice pop of flavor. Contrast is key. You've heard of people eating watermelon with salt, right? My parents have been doing this forever. As a child this idea seemed a bit alien to me. Now I love mine with a sprinkle of fleur de sel. There is no sweetness without saltiness. Since these carrots were amazingly sweet, I wanted to accentuate their earthiness with a salsa made with roasted beets, yellow corn, Fuerte avocados and red peppers spritzed with lime juice. This lent a nice touch of acid and sweetness. This soup was well received by both Lakers and Celtics fans alike.