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Recipe: Carrot Soup with Lime and Ginger

With the sudden arrival of harsh winter temperatures (the overnight low January 6 – 7 was 5°F at our place), we were forced to pull the last of our fall carrots from the freezing ground.  What to do with a sudden bounty of carrots?  Make carrot soup!

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This soup is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.  In the summer, when cilantro isn’t at its best, substitute Thai basil (my favorite iteration of this recipe).  Use fewer chiles or swap out the serranos for jalapeños if you don’t like the heat.  Add a few peeled, roasted beets just before blending for a flavor and color boost (or if you’re short on carrots).

I usually make a double batch of this soup (so I can use the entire can of coconut milk), so my photos show more ingredients than listed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 lb carrots
  • handful of fresh cilantro, several stems reserved for garnish
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (about half of a 14-oz can)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup white rice
  • salt to taste

The Process:

Start with a healthy splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Medium-dice the onion and add it to the pot with a pinch of salt.

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While the onions sweat, prepare the next several ingredients (garlic and chiles, rough chop; ginger, grated).  I use 2 serrano chiles per pound of carrots, which gives the soup a pleasant but not painful amount of heat.  Use a ginger grater lined with a piece of plastic wrap for easy prep and cleanup – no more bits of ginger stuck between those little ceramic teeth!

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Sauté the garlic/chiles/ginger with the onions for a few minutes while you chop the carrots into 1″ pieces.  I’m using Red Cored Chantenay carrots, which are deliciously sweet and grow well in our heavy clay soil.  Add the carrots and most of the cilantro to the pot, reserving a few sprigs for garnish.

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Add the two cups of vegetable broth and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.  While the soup simmers, prepare the rice according to package directions.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the coconut milk (shake the can before you open it!) and lime juice.  Use a hand blender to purée the soup, or do it in batches in a standard blender.  Taste for salt and add if necessary.

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Serve the soup with a scoop of rice, fresh herb garnish, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Enjoy!

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