Thursday, June 24, 2010

Carrot Ginger Soup

As promised in my last post, I will share with you the carrot and ginger soup I made from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit magazine. This incredibly simple soup is surprisingly complex in its layers of flavor with the sweetness of the carrots balanced by the unique spiciness of ginger with just a hint of heat from cayenne pepper at the end. It definitely also benefits from something salty. The magazine recipe calls for chopped peanuts, which would probably taste great. Since I didn't have any peanuts, I left them off but appreciated the saltiness of the focaccia bread dipped into the soup. Although I'm generally more of a fan of soups in the cold winter months, this soup is definitely good enough to make now, despite the heat outside...hopefully you have air conditioning in your kitchen anyway. (If not, I suggest finding somewhere that does!) The soup was included in a spring edition of the magazine because carrots are currently in season. A similar soup made with winter squash (butternut or pumpkin) would be great during the colder months when those are in season.

The most work involved in making this soup is the peeling and chopping of the carrots. If you have a sharp peeler and sharp knife, this shouldn't take too long. Also, don't worry too much about the carrots looking good since they will all be pureed in the end. You want them to all be roughly the same size--the potatoes as well--so that everything cooks evenly. For the ginger, I again recommend a microplane but a box grater would also work. If you don't have either of this kitchen items, mince the ginger as small as possible. Once the vegetables have cooked and are quite tender, you can puree it either in batches in a food processor or with an immersion blender, depending on which you have and which you prefer.

Carrot Ginger Soup
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 pounds carrots, peeled, sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium white-skinned potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2.5 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 5 cups + low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and black pepper
  • roasted peanuts, chopped (if desired)
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add carrots, onion, potato and ginger. Season with a pinch of salt.
Saute until the vegetables start to become tender, but without browning, about 10 minutes.
Add 5 cups of broth and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Let the soup cool a bit before pureeing it completely.
Return the soup to the heat and add a little more broth to thin it to the desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper and a bit more cayenne, if desired.

For a printable recipe click here

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