You’ll notice that I didn’t put green food coloring in it. I know I should have had something weirdly green on yesterday’s menu, but I’ve covered food coloring before, and the fact that my Little Man can’t have it. So instead of making yet another thing he can’t eat, I just put something green on his plate that was really and truly green. And then proceeded to watch him eat everything on his plate but that thing. My girls, on the other hand, love them some broccoli.
I had this soup on the menu a couple weeks ago, but it never actually got made. The past few weeks have been menu-busters: between tummy bugs, logistical issues with getting our beef from a friend’s freezer, and birthdays, my dinner plans have been thwarted time after time. The good thing about when that happens is that I can just forward my planned meals to the next week — translation: I don’t have to think. That’s always a good thing, since thinking tends to strain muscles.
Way back when, I made this soup all the time; it was part of my Molly Katzen phase (feel like letting out some steam? wanna break in a brand-new chef’s knife? open up a Katzen cookbook and chop your way into oblivion). It’s super-cheap, and savory-sweet with a mild gingery heat, and good for a change (unless, uh, you make it all the time). One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not a soup that coats your gut and sticks with you — so you’ll want to utilize it as a starter course, or just serve it alongside an open-faced roast beef and cheddar. Or a bean burrito, if you’re not into meat. Or a light lunch.
Feel free to omit the chicken stock if you don’t have any on hand or if you’d like for this to be a vegetarian soup. The original didn’t call for it, but I like to throw some into every soup I can to utilize the rich nutrients found in bone broths. The potatoes are also optional, but they smooth out and thicken the texture of the soup, so I use them if I have them. Your soup will vary in thickness depending on what optional ingredients you include; mine was pretty thick since I used them all.
We had forgotten how good this soup is. Might have to start making it again, all the time.
Gingered Carrot Soup
(adapted from two recipes in Molly Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook)
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled and trimmed, cut into 1-inch rounds
- 3-4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch rounds (optional)
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock (if you don’t have homemade, use all water)
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, ghee, or butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 1/2 onions)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (that’s a good-sized chunk, peeled first)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup lightly toasted cashews (optional)
Place chopped carrots and potatoes into a large saucepan with the water and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.
Meanwhile, heat oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft but not brown. Add garlic, ginger, salt, and spices. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Add lemon juice, stir, and remove from heat.
Add onion saute mixture to the soup pot, along with the cashews. Purée the mixture using a stick blender (it takes persistence to get all the carrots pureed this way, just so you know), or transfer in batches to a food processor. Once mixture is pureed, return to soup pot and taste for seasoning.
Can top with a drizzle of thinned yogurt, buttermilk, or créme fraiche, or just let it go naked.