Here’s a festive soup that can be prepared a few days ahead. We made ours the Monday before Thanksgiving. Soups always tastes better the next day or so because the flavors meld together.

Carrot Ginger Soup

In a large stock pot sweat 4 sliced shallots and 6 tablespoons minced ginger in butter.
Sweating means to cook over a low heat in a small amount of butter so as not to caramelize the onions.
You can cover the pot, but be careful to keep an eye on the cooking. Cook until the shallots become translucent.
Fresh ginger is wonderful and should be used for this recipe. I keep my fresh ginger roots frozen, which may sound weird, but it actually keeps the flavor strong, and is much easier to grate. When you bring home your fresh ginger root from the store, peel it with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, wrap it in saran wrap, and then put it in a plastic bag in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, take it out, grate or slice it (I prefer grating it with a Microplane grater). This soup is indeed very gingery, but that’s the kick it needs.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add two pounds of sliced carrots. We used purple, white and orange carrots fresh from the farmer’s market. The soup came out a little gray, so maybe it’s best to stick with just purple or just orange for a brighter color. Add four tablespoons uncooked rice and 4 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer) and 6 cups of water. Simmer until the rice is tender. Let it cool (this takes a few hours) and then puree in a blender or food processor. This recipe makes a lot of soup, so you should cut it in half if you aren’t serving a dozen people, unless, of course, you want delicious leftovers!
Happy Cooking!