Making this soup last night reminded me of an important kitchen tip: check your spices periodically to make sure they haven't lost their pep. I started with one teaspoon of ground ginger... then added another and another and another, wondering why I couldn't taste enough ginger in the soup. Then I inspected the jar more closely and found that it's lovely flavor had all but faded away. If your ground ginger was purchased relatively recently, 1 teaspoon (plus the 2 tablespoons of freshly grated) should more than suffice but hey, that's up to you!
I've seen versions of this soup that have a very thick consistency - mine is more brothy than puree, but that could be adjusted by using less water and/or stock.
Carrot Ginger Soup
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
2 TB butter, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs. fresh carrots
2 TB freshly grated ginger
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup of water
1-1/2 cups half & half
1 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them in half lengthwise and then into 2-inch or so pieces. In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Stir in the sliced onions until they're coated with butter; sprinkle the black pepper over them. Saute the onions over medium heat until they're soft and translucent, just starting to brown - about 15 minutes. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside. Raise the heat to medium high and add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pot. Once it has melted, add in the chopped carrots and the freshly grated ginger. Toss the carrots and ginger in the pan until they're hot and the edges of the carrots are just starting to sear. Add the onions back to the pan and pour in the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. (Or use an immersion blender in the pot.) Transfer the soup back to the pot. Heat the half & half in a small pan or in the microwave until it is almost hot. Stir it into the soup until thoroughly combined. Stir in the ground ginger; add salt and pepper to taste.
Store in the refrigerator for 1 week. Makes about 8 cups.