Savory Pureed Carrot Soup
Earth Day 2016 was yesterday--it was overcast and slightly chilly so a soup seemed in order...
Because it was Earth Day, root vegetables so directly connected to the Earth seemed a great inspiration..
This savory and highly fragrant soup has the following ingredients to make 4 generous servings:
4 large carrots, chopped
1 sweet potato, diced
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Filtered water, about 1 and 1/2 cups
10-12 oz. chicken or vegetable broth
Ginger root, about 1 tsp minced fresh
And the following seasonings, your combination of the Indian Garam Masala spices:
Also: salt, ground pepper and/or chili powder
To make the soup:
First, start by sauteeing the onion and celery in olive oil in a heavy soup pot.
Add the carrots and sweet potato, and all spices and ginger. Toss in extra olive oil if needed to prevent sticking. Heat the vegetables and spices through. This way of heating through the spices helps release their flavors, it kind of toasts the spices.
Next, add enough filtered water to cover the vegetables.
Add 10-12 oz. chicken or vegetable broth.
Simmer with cover on for about 40 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
After the vegetables are cooked, use the immersion blender in the pot to puree the soup.
Taste and adjust your seasonings, especially salt and pepper before serving,
Serve in bowls with a fresh parsley or cilantro garnish.
OR- this also makes a great "appetizer" soup as those little "shots" of soup for a clever first course buffet or dinner party.
That list of ingredients for this recipe may seem onerous, but substitutions are easily made--no coriander, do you have cilantro fresh or dried flakes? No cardamom- ok to omit. No fresh ginger, OK to substitute ground ginger.
Of course, you already know the way to have ginger root always available is to store in the freezer--it's easier to shred when frozen too!
Also--the issue of chili powder--here we have a whole spectrum of possibilities. Do you want flavor or heat? I am not a "heat" person so I usually sprinkle in standard mild-medium chili powder blend whereas true Indian red chili powder is extraordinarily hot so you must use caution in amounts until you know what amounts will satisfy the effect you are trying to achieve.
Which leads me to a final point--you can certainly make this carrot soup have a completely different flavor profile, with still savory seasoning !
Instead of Inidan spices. how about trying herbs de Provence blend and thyme? It will also produce a beautiful and fragrant soup, also quite savory but completely different.
Happy Earth Day 2016 (if belated)! But then, we should plan to celebrate our planet Earth everyday!