A couple of weeks ago I attended an open house of a new cooking school in San Francisco. This recipe is adapted from one done in the demo kitchen by Chef David Groff who is an instructor at the school and former chef at the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. I changed the recipe a bit. His called for sweating onions until soft. I elected to roast the onions with the carrots to add some additional carmelization. His recipe used heavy cream as the last additive. I chose to use coconut milk to infuse another flavor component. I also increased the amount of curry powder used. This is a rich and elegant soup that with some protein added (perhaps bay or sea scallops) would make a great first course for a dinner party. I served the soup with flatbread wraps of grilled chicken and Tandoori seasoning.
For a wine I chose Cline Vineyards 2009 Sonoma Coast Gewurztraminer slightly chilled. The wine has tones of lime and grapefruit which paired well with the coconut, lime and curry in the soup.
Preheat oven to 400^. Toss carrots and onion with oil and place on a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until carrots brown and carmelize around the edges. About 40 minutes. While carrots are roasting heat the milk with lime zest until hot. Do not boil. Cover and infuse until ready to use.
Heat Ghee and curry powder in a heavy soup pot until curry begins to sizzle. Add carrots and onions; saute for 5 minutes on moderate heat. Strain lime zest from milk. Add all additional ingredients to pot. Bring to a slow boil. Cover and simmer until carrots, rice and onions are completely soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes.
Allow soup to cool. Puree the soup in blender until smooth; then strain to obtain smooth texture. Add coconut milk and reheat until very hot but not boiling. Adjust consistency if necessary and correct seasoning if required.