Monday, March 5, 2012

Meatless Mondays: Simple Carrot Soup

Carrot soup

Today's post isn't my own recipe, but it is one that I make over and over, and I wanted to share it with you. Although I try to give you plenty of original content, sometimes a recipe is great just how it is, so I link to it instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. This simple carrot soup is one of those great recipes. And it takes about 30 minutes to make, so it works even on a weeknight.

This is a recipe I turn to every time I have more carrots than I know what to do with. We can buy a pound of organic carrots for less than a dollar, so we usually buy at least one pound a week. They don’t spoil fast, and so sometimes we build up a bit of a backlog of carrots. Not that I mind, not at all! The carrots just find their way into soup. (OK, maybe I help them into the stockpot. Still.)

The best thing about this soup recipe is that the leftovers are endlessly customizable. A few things we like to stir in (in various combinations):

Toasted sesame oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Curry powder
Ground ginger
Fresh ginger
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Sesame seeds

 A few notes on the recipe: First, you don't need to peel the carrots, just trim off the tops. I've made the soup with peeled carrots and unpeeled carrots, and I don't notice any difference, so save yourself the work. Second, I cook the onion until it starts to smell a bit sweet, then add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. I don't toss garlic in with onions to cook, because the garlic usually starts to burn by the time the onion is done, so I cook the onions, then add the garlic. Finally, I always make this with water, not veggie stock, because I don't want the stock to interfere with the flavor. I add between 1 and 2 tsp of salt to the final soup, and it usually takes several tastings to get the salt level just right.

We eat this as a side-dish more often than as a main meal. Because it is mostly vegetables, with a bit of oil, it's usually not substantial enough on its own (although it is filling). Pair it with some kind of protein, and perhaps some bread for dunking to create a complete meal.

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