Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warm-up Cream of Carrot with Ginger Soup

Oh, Chicago you are a cold, cold place to live and your winters make me eat like a champion to survive the cold, to stay awake in the face of never-ending darkness and lately to compensate for my "I can't write my thesis" guilt. Despite only making it a week on my no-drinking plan, and only 10 days on my no sugar plan, I'm doing my best to keep the winter munchies healthy...And trying to make a jar of almond butter last longer than 7 days. Almond butter is like crack to me, it's a sick, sick addiction. Today when my produce box arrived, I discovered about 2.5 pounds of big winter carrots in the bottom. I'm not a fan of eating the big ones raw because they lack the intensity of flavor that I value in a summer carrot, but I have been craving ginger flavored soups. So, I threw together a quick carrot-ginger soup to keep those carrots from languishing in my produce drawer. In the summer, I like to make carrot ginger soup without anything creamy and enjoy it on lazy evenings with a big salad dressed up with orange slices and avocado. But, look, I'm cold all the time, I'm strapped to my space heater, and I'm up to my eyeballs in my own mediocre writing so I thought it might be nice to take my summer recipe and winterize it with the addition of a little cashew cream and a hint of toasted sesame oil. What results is still a fresh, light bowl of soup...But, with a little more commitment and depth. This soup is emotionally available. And, when garnished with a quick chop of fresh mint and cilantro and set up next to a simple spinach salad it makes a simple, warming lunch or dinner.

(Serves 6)
1 T olive oil
1/2 T toasted sesame oil

1 sweet onion roughly chopped
2.5" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped into rounds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

About 2.5 pounds of carrots, peeled and chopped. Don't worry about dicing them too fine, I find 1/4" rounds to be about the right size.
1 large apple, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2- 1 t red pepper flakes
4 cups water
1 vegan bouillon cube (alternately, use a favorite veggie stock in place of the water + cube)
1/2 cup cashew cream (equal parts soaked cashews and water, puréed until smooth)
Sea salt, shoyu or Bragg's to taste (I like Braggs)
1/2- 1 t rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped mint and cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion until translucent and then add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute and then add the carrots and apple stir to coat in the oil and let sauté for about five minutes. Add the water and bouillon cube and bring the soup to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the cashew cream. Reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 30 minutes. The carrots should be soft, but not mushy. Remove the soup from the heat and purée with an immersion blender until totally smooth. Taste for salt/salty substance and add the vinegar or lemon juice. Serve garnished with chopped mint and cilantro.


  1. I got around to making this a few days ago. It's really good! I thought the ginger would be too strong for my taste but the apple mellowed it all out. Thanks, judd

  2. Great! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I've been eating this soup pretty much weekly all winter long.