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Photographs by Meadow Linn

Friday, October 1, 2010

Soup's On!

When the rain is pitter-pattering outside and you're curled up by a roaring fire, this is the soup you want to have steaming in a bowl held tightly between your hands. It's smooth, sweet, and warming. With coconut milk and a hint of ginger, the aroma is intoxicating. Unfortunately, carrot soup doesn't usually rank with chicken soup for comfort and nostalgia and certainly not for popularity. Jack Canfield has yet to publish Carrot Soup for the Soul; however, this carrot soup is unlike any you may have tried before. The combination of apples and coconut add richness and creaminess while the ginger and curry powder add a dash of exotic that warms you from the inside out. Many people have told me that they never met a carrot soup they liked, until they tried this one. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top, and maybe even the kids will try it this Halloween!

Curried Carrot and Apple Soup
Serves 6-8

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. ginger, finely grated (from a 2" long piece of peeled ginger root)
2 tsp. coconut oil (or butter or olive oil)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 16-oz. can of coconut milk
3 cups water
1 lb. apples (approx. 2-3 medium apples), peeled, cored and cut into chunks (Gala, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Yellow Delicious)
1 tbs. curry powder*
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
plain yogurt




In a medium soup pot, melt the coconut oil and sauté the onion and ginger with the salt over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, peel and rough chop the carrots. When the onions are translucent, add the carrots, coconut milk, and water and increase the heat to medium. Peel, core, and rough chop the apples. Add the apples and curry powder* to the soup pot and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender (15-30 minutes). When the carrots and apples are soft, purée the soup until smooth using either a hand-mixer or a blender. If using a blender, only fill the canister halfway and blend in batches to prevent the hot soup from splattering. To reach desired consistency, add water if necessary. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and sprinkled with chopped cilantro. The tartness of the yogurt nicely balances the sweetness of the carrots and apples in the soup.

*For this recipe, I use a Bombay Curry mix from Market Spice in Seattle, but any curry powder will work. The Bombay Curry is slightly sweet. If your curry powder is spicy or piquant, you may want to add 1 tsp. at a time until you reach a flavor that suits your taste (3 tsp. = 1 tbs.)