Thursday, November 4, 2010

Carrot Ginger Soup

I had a long phone conversation yesterday, with my daughter in Austin, Texas that inevitably turned to food. It ended with us both deciding we should immediately make Carrot Ginger Soup (she has a copy of my recipe collection). Despite record November temperatures here matching those in Austin, a garden vegetable soup sounded like a perfect dinner to us both. For her, with limited means and an almost nonexistent larder, frugal and delicious carrot soup is perfect. And for me, wanting a simple vegetarian dinner, carrot soup is also perfect. I hung up the phone and went directly to the garden for carrots. I washed them off outside with the hose -and then got distracted for several hours. I returned to making soup, and while putting the ingredients in the pot I realized with horror, we had cut the original recipe by fourths -but not the amount of white pepper. Also, I use a wand blender to puree soups in the cooking pot while still hot, but she has a food processor and my recipe didn't warn to cool it first. I just knew she had made a soup way too spicy for her to ever eat, and then exploded the same boiling soup all over herself, and was probably in the emergency room (which she REALLY can't afford) with 2nd degree soup burns. She called later that evening. Luckily, she had gotten even more distracted than myself, and hadn't made her soup. Lessons learned: 1) moms will always worry and imagine the worst, 2) mistakes in a recipe can be a dangerous thing, and 3) even with lots of white pepper, Carrot Ginger Soup is really good!

Carrot-Ginger Soup

Heat: 2 T. oil

Add: ½ chopped red onion
2-3 T. grated fresh ginger (The fresher, the better. Mine had been languishing in the fridge for quite awhile, and though still good, was rather fibrous.)
Sauté onion and ginger in oil.

2 c. chopped, fresh carrots
2-3 c. vegetable stock or water
1/8- ¼ t. white pepper
1 t. fresh ground coriander
½ -1 t. salt or vegetable bouillon cube

Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 15-30 minutes, or until carrots are soft. Use a wand blender, or cool and puree in food processor or blender. This freezes really well, so you may want to double or triple the recipe and freeze portions.

Variations: Substitute chicken stock if preferred, and/or add 1 c. V-8 juice. For Moroccan Carrot Soup, omit ginger and add 1 ½ t. cumin and 1/8 t. allspice, and serve plain yogurt at the table to stir in.

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