A few of my favorite things from around the blog, as I'm injured, and it hurts to type.

A few of my favorite things

Alas, friends, that fall I talked about in Sundry Wonders on Monday appears to have done a little more damage than I’d thought. I’m OK, but it hurts to type, and I’m on muscle relaxers. However, instead of just an excuse, I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite things from around the blog.

Here’s some photos, a video, and a recipe for you.

Visions of a courtyard

This time of year, I dream of the courtyard at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum.

A few favorite snaps from the last few months

Memories of travel

I still can’t believe I really did this.

A pot of soup for a winter’s day

Ingredients for soup

Lemony Carrot Soup with Dill

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It is absolutely delicious. The technique, which is dead simple to master and only requires patience, can be used with countless other soups. Really, is there anything better than a base of onions and butter?
This soup is cheap to make and scales easily, so it’s a good soup to make for one person when you don’t feel like eating the same soup for an eternity. When making it for one, I generally find a small russet potato, weigh or eyeball it, and a adjust my carrots accordingly.
KEEP IN MIND: This soup requires a long simmer, and it tastes better for it. If you’re making this for your dinner, make it ahead.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • stick blender, food mill, or blender


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion thick sliced
  • 1 pound carrots trimmed, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • ½ pound russet potato peeled, and cut into chunks (you can use another kind of potato, but russet really is best for the texture)
  • Kosher salt see note in the method
  • 4 cups Chicken stock to cover start with about four cups, but note that you may need to add more if too much cooks as it simmers (see note)
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1 dried bay leaf if it’s a big one, cut it in half
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced or to taste (if you aren’t sure, start with less and work your way up)
  • Several sprigs of fresh dill rip off the stems, to taste, plus more for garnish
  • Cream, crème fraîche, or butter Optional, to serve


  • In a heavy bottomed pot with a lid (a Le Creuset French oven is perfect, if you have one), melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion, stir until it glistens, and then cover and sweat slowly for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Check on it a couple of times and stir. You do not want the onion to brown at all.
  • When the onion is soft, add the carrots and potatoes and stir to combine. Salt generously (see note). Cover again and sweat for about 10–12 minutes, again checking and stirring and making sure that nothing is browning.
  • Remove the lid, add the stock to cover. Add the parsley, bay, and thyme. Add a twist or two of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Taste. It’s probably going to need salt. Add it, if necessary.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for a while until the carrots soften (you should be able to almost cut into one with a fork).
  • Add the lemon juice (see note in ingredients) and give it a stir. Taste. Add more lemon, if necessary.
  • Let simmer until the potatoes and carrots are soft enough to blend smoothly. Note that this can take a good long time, and, if you find that the stock reduced too much, add a little more stock or water.
  • Taste again and adjust seasoning. Skim off any foam that has risen to the surface. Fish out the bay leaf, and the parsley and thyme sprigs.
  • Add the sprigs of dill.
  • I’m supposed to tell you to use a food mill or a blender. But I use a good old-fashioned stick blender to puree the soup. As I mentioned above, I like a thicker soup, so the fact that a stick blender does result in a perfectly velvety soup does not bother me. It’s so much easier. However, if a velvety smooth soup is your game, then use a food mill or the blender, and then pass it through a sieve.
  • Puree the soup. Taste it again. If it needs more dill, add some finely chopped dill.
  • To serve, heat the soup through. Serve with optional cream or crème fraiche, and a bit of fresh dill


I like a thicker soup, and so I use less stock. If you wish to have a thinner soup, simply use more stock and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Bullion is fine, in fact, I use Better than Bullion more often than not for this. However, if you are going to use bullion, I recommend using about half as directed for the amount of water. If the soup still needs salt, just add that. Vegetable stock or bullion is also fine
If you are using bullion or canned stock, use a little less salt. You do need the salt at this stage, but you don’t want salty soup! If you’re not sure, use the salt here, and then follow the note above about the stock.
Keyword carrot soup, carrots, dill, lemon
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

I hope your day’s a lovely one.