Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scrumptious soups: Curried carrot soup

I love carrots; I really do!

This simple soup really lets the carrots shine as there are very few ingredients.

For more complex and developed flavor, I like to first roast the carrots. If you don't feel like fussing with roasting the carrots, don't worry about it; the soup will be brighter flavored, and that is just fine too!

The proportions are really flexible; if you're cooking for yourself or a smaller group, use fewer carrots. If you're feeding a crowd, keep chopping!

Curried Carrot Soup

  • 6 large carrots (or more, or less)
  • Low-sodium vegetable stock, low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (or more, or less)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of hot sauce or pinch or crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Roast carrots; directions found here
  2. Place carrots in sauce pan or stock pot and barely cover with stock or water. Add garlic and pepper. Cover, and simmer until carrots are very tender. 
  3. Add olive oil, hot sauce and puree using an immersion blender (also called a stick blender). Or, blend in batches using a blender (be careful not to burn yourself on the steam; remove small insert from the lid to allow steam to escape and cover with a clean kitchen towel). A food processor isn't a good choice for pureeing soups because thin liquids may leak out the top and burn you; some close with a rubber gasket, but most do not. If you don't have any fun kitchen toys, use a potato masher to smooth out the soup a bit and call it rustic :)
  4. Taste your seasoning and add a little of this or a little of that as needed. 
Nutrition note: This soup would be really easy to do without the oil. So, why do I add it anyway? Our nutrients in our food (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) are either water soluble or fat soluble. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and is fat soluble. If you didn't add a touch of healthy fats, you would be missing out on this nutritional powerhouse because you body couldn't absorb it! This is the same thinking behind the recommendation to have a healthy fat on salads; whether it is a small bit of avocado, some nuts or seeds or a drizzle olive oil, you want something to help your body absorb all the good stuff. The trick is to keep the portion reasonable; 1/4 avocado per person, 1/4 cup of nuts or a tablespoon of oil.

Wash and chop your carrots; no need to peel

Roast them to develop flavor
Barely cover with stock or water and add garlic
Add seasonings and puree until smooth; add more water or stock if too thick

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