November 7, 2010

Carrot Ginger Soup

This is a hearty soup Mr. Grumps and I loved when we went out to dinner awhile back. As usual, I "tweeked" it a bit, adding more veggies and staying the course with organic produce.

One thing you'll absolutely need for this recipe is a food processor or a good blender. You're going to cook the vegetables until they're tender, which will make the mixture easier to pulse in the processor. The best part is, you can make blend this soup to be really creamy, or leave in "carrot bits" for texture. Either way, it's delicious!

Carrot Ginger Soup
serves 4-6
1 medium sized leek
1 cup butternut squash (diced)
6 large carrots (peeled/diced)
2 cloves sliced garlic
3 tbls. unsalted butter
sea salt/pepper
1 tbls. olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 cups organic broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/4 cup half and half (optional)

First, wash up your veggies and pat dry with paper towels. Get a medium sized bowl to put them in once they're diced up and ready for the soup pot.

If you're not sure, leeks are part of the onion family, and are very mild. They also tend to be a bit on the sandy side, so be sure to rinse them well before using.
Slice up the leek into thin rings.
If you can get the squash already peeled and packaged, grab it!  Otherwise, peel up a medium sized squash, halve it, then dice into small pieces.
Peel the carrots, slice lengthwise, and dice into small chunks.
Slice the garlic into thin pieces. Place everything into the bowl and set aside.  In a large, deep pan, add the butter and olive oil. Melt the butter until foamy, then add the veggies. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until carmelized and softened.
Add 3 cups of the broth (whatever you choose - chicken or vegetable) and the orange juice. Season to taste with ginger, adding more or less, whatever your preference. I personally throw in a few pinches, taste, and season again if needed. Stir well, turn heat to medium high, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, and allow to cool about 10 minutes. In small batches, process in a food processor or blender, then spoon the mixture back into the soup pot.
Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to high. Add the remaining broth, one cup at a time, stirring constantly until desired consistency.
Lower temperature and heat soup till simmering. At this point, you can add the half and half, it's entirely optional, but makes for a really rich soup.  Serve hot, topped with a pinch of minced parsley.
Food For Thought:
Carrots are high in carotenoids, which are associated with a wide range of health benefits. High carotenoid intake has been proven (through human studies) to actually decrease the risk of bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx and esophageal cancer by up to 50 percent. Also a source of lutein, carrots promote good eye health by preventing macular degeneration and cataracts.
To get the most out of these nutrients, eat them with a little fat. Carotenoids and vitamin A are fat-soluble nutrients, and are better absorbed when cooked with a little oil.

- The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth, by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS


Chow and Chatter said...

wow what a lovely soup love the health value of it

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

oh yum! i really love this soup.