At the Table

Curried carrot soup

Curried carrot soup recipe

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a huge fan of soup.  In high school I’d make soup instead of cereal for breakfast, and when I worked at the cafe, cooking up a big pot of soup was a favorite part of my job.  This curried carrot soup is one of my favorites to make, since it’s super simple and has tons of flavor.    I also love that it’s pretty healthy – just veggies and spices, plus a generous amount of coconut milk.  The recipe is actually vegan and gluten free, but you’d never, ever know that from tasting its spicy, creamy goodness (I had Jeth fooled).  It has all the flavor of a huge bowl of curry without the heaviness, so it’s perfect for warmish fall evenings like we’ve had week.

I said this soup is easy to make, and that’s no exaggeration.  It’s as simple as simmering big pieces of carrot in a spicy broth, blending it up, and topping the whole pot off with a splash of coconut milk.   Because it’s blended, you don’t even need to worry about cutting the ingredients into nice, even, presentable pieces.  I make my soup with a hot curry powder blend, which balances really well with the sweetness of the blended carrots and coconut milk.  I didn’t have hot curry powder on hand the last time I made this, so I made my own spice mix on the fly last time I made this soup, and it worked out really well.  If you don’t have all these spices (I know it’s a lot – I definitely love collecting spices as much as I love soup), this recipe will work just fine with a tablespoon or two of store-bought hot curry powder.

Curried carrot soup makes 4 servings

2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 t. peeled and chopped fresh ginger (or 1/4 t. dried ground ginger)
1 pound (about 8 large) carrots
1/2 t. chopped fresh ginger (or 1/4 t. dried ground ginger)
6 cups vegetable stock or water
2 1/2 t. ground coriander
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. turmeric
1/4 t. ground fennel
1/4 t. ground fenugreek
1/2-1 t. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 can of coconut milk (not the same as the coconut milk that’s sold in cartons for drinking – you need the canned kind)

Peel the carrots and cut them into 1-2″ pieces.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and saute the onions and ginger (if using fresh) until the onions begin to soften.  Add the carrots and saute for a few more minutes.  Pour the broth and spices (add the dried ginger with the rest of the spices, if you’re using it) into the pot and bring the broth.  Simmer the soup for 30-45 minutes until the carrots have softened and are fork tender.

Remove the pot from the heat and blend with an immersion blender until it is smooth, adding more liquid if it seems too thick.  You can also let it cool a little and blend the soup in a blender or food processor (if you’re blending hot soup, allow the lid to “vent” so pressure doesn’t build up in the blender and cause an explosion), then pop it back on the stove to reheat.    Stir the coconut milk into the soup right before serving.

Happy cooking!

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