Another dish that falls into the category of "made entirely from things on hand at the house I was house sitting for."
Clearly I'm not the first to say this, but the more I learn about something, the more I realize there is to learn. Take roasting nuts and seeds. For years I've thought that a quick brown in a dry skillet was all there was to it. Until my last read of the Trout Point Lodge Cookbook, which recommends a slower, lower heat -- about 20 minutes. All this time I've just been searing my nuts, but their method allows the heat to penetrate to the core, providing a full and thorough roast. Reminds me of the NYT article about how we use heat.
In other words, I roasted some sesame seeds and learned something about myself. I then browned several split cloves of garlic and threw in the chunks of carrots, giving them a literal flash in the pan. Soon after I added water, simmered, and waited. Of course there was sea salt and freshly ground b.p., and towards the end I added a small handful of chopped, fresh tarragon. Partly because I like it, partly because I'm fascinated by the way the licorice flavor compound spans different plant species. With few ingredients and no additional purchases, we had a fantastic dish that served as the cornerstone for the meal.
All you really need to make carrot soup is to steam carrots and then put them through a blender with the cooking water and a touch of salt. All you need to make the ever so popular carrot ginger soup is to do the same with ginger. But I rarely make the same thing twice, and the sesame seeds were calling me. They imparted a depth of flavor that you rarely get without good stock. Sesame seeds: shortcut to soup.
They also made this usually bright dish a little earthy and heavy, so I topped each bowl with strips of crisped leeks and a blob of everyone's favorite yogurt (this week), Fage.
Now that it had texture and tang, all it needed was to be slurped.