Sometimes too much of a good thing is an inspiration. Take carrots. Our share of the end-of-the-season carrots were fat and hard to cut, but still pretty sweet. Soup seemed to be the fitting finale to the harvest.

This recipe is relatively flexible and easy to adjust. It's super easy and you can vary the seasoning according to taste. Skip the curry, stir in chili powder, and you're on to a Mexican taste. Or give it a shot of fresh orange juice and a little zest, and the soup becomes mild and bright.

It keeps a few days in the refrigerator and freezes nicely. If you're long on squash or sweet potatoes, replace some of the carrots with those. Just be sure to serve it piping hot with a few croutons if you like.

Beth Dooley is a Minneapolis author.