Creamy Carrot Soup with just a little Cream

2 tbsp butter
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 lbs of carrots, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 quarts water
3 tbsp short-grain white rice (Arborio)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) green peas
4 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Melt the butter in a large casserole. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the onion softens.

Add the garlic, cumin, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the carrots, water, and rice. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 50 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft.

Lift the solids out with a slotted spoon, and puree them in a food processor; return them to the soup.

Add the lemon juice and peas. Simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Add the cream, nutmeg and mint, and warm through.

Taste the soup for seasoning, and add more salt or lemon juice, if you like. To serve, ladle the soup into mugs.

-The Way We Cook, Sheryl Julian & Julie Riven