Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nice n' Spicy Carrot Soup

Here's a soup that's good year round, inspired by a recipe from Annie Sommerville's Fields of Greens cookbook. My garden carrots are just starting to come in, so they're especially sweet right now, and make a splendid soup. Because carrots keep so well, they're easy to obtain any time of year, making this soup good during fall and winter, too. The carrots won't be so sweet then (they lose some of their sweetness during storage), so make sure to use a sweet potato during winter.


1 tsp olive oil
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
1 quart chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 cup water, if needed
5 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped potato, white potato or sweet potato
1/2 cup orange juice
salt, if needed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spices, stirring constantly for about 1 minute while they brown. If the onion and spices begin to stick to the pan, add a little of the broth or stock. Add the quart of broth, along with the carrots and potato, and continue to cook over medium heat until the carrots and potatoes are soft. If the stock boils off and is below the level of the vegetables, add up to 1 cup of water, so that the veggies remain covered with liquid while cooking. When the vegetables are soft and cooked, remove from heat. Working in batches, blend the soup in a blender until smooth, taking care to use the cover so that the hot liquid doesn't burn you. Return the soup to the cooking pot, stirring in the orange juice. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne as needed, tasting after each addition. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro.

Serves 4 to 6

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Blending vegetables makes them indecipherable! If someone in your family doesn't like the crunch of carrots, this might make a carrot lover out of them. Conversely, if someone in your family doesn't normally like cooked carrots, the blending may change their mind. Feel free to call this Nice n' Spicy Orangey Soup ... I have!

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