Friday, October 29, 2010

Roasted Carrot & Ginger Soup - my "miracle" soup

This soup is a miracle. I'm not kidding.  You see, I was one of those picky kids, who refused to eat cooked carrots. I'd rather be denied dessert, than to eat the boiled carrots my mother would sometimes put on our dinner plate.  For most of younger years of life, I continued to pick the carrots out of any kind of "vegetable medley".  As I began to blossom into a grown woman, I began to eat carrots to be polite. Still, I didn't really care for them.  Well, now that I'm a self-proclaimed "Foodie", it's time for me to try and overcome my childhood aversions.  The first step was the Glazed Carrots that I made a couple of years ago.  Success!  Still, I continued to feel disappointment if I saw "Carrot-Ginger Soup" as the soup of the day on a restaurant menu. 
At my office, I was the sole person who didn't rave about what a delicious soup this is, when someone recently said how much they love Carrot-Ginger Soup. You see, I've never tried it.  Yes, t'is true.  So I decided to do a little internet research and I realized that  this soup is very easy to make.  An idea was born!  I gambled that if I roasted the carrots, first, that I just might kick up the flavor a notch or two! I decided that I wouldn't peel the carrots.  Why bother? I'm going to puree them anyway, and don't the experts say that's where most of the nutrients are?  Sounds good, but truth be told-- it was less work, and I liked that. So, here we go:

Preheat the oven to 375. I had five organic carrots from Whole Foods. On sale, no less. Wash the carrots and cut off the bottom root end. Place the whole carrots (or you can cut them lengthwise) on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 375 until tender and caramelized (shake the pan about halfway through to evenly roast); about 45 minutes.  Set aside.

Look at the caramelization on these babies!  I cut a piece and tasted it. Wow!  They are sweet, and resemble the texture of baked sweet potatoes.  NOTE TO SELF: Add salt & pepper, sometime, and eat these as a side dish. They are a whole new animal, when they are roasted!

 
But, I'm making soup...  Carrot-Ginger, to be specific.

Dried ginger doesn't compare to freshly grated ginger.  I love it!  

I decided to dice two shallots (about 3/4 cup) because I like their milder flavor. Yellow onions would do nicely, though.  I diced two ribs on celery, 1 clove minced garlic (not pictured) and grated about 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger.  Okay, it's showtime!
In a Dutch Oven, I heated some olive oil and a pat of unsalted butter. I sauteed the shallots until tender (about 2-3 minutes) on a medium heat, being careful not to burn them.

Next I added the celery, ginger and garlic.  For seasoning, I used coarse salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper.  (Black pepper would do, but I wanted to keep the orange color free of color.)

I love to make my own chicken stock, but I'm out of it for now.  I always keep a reserve of quality chicken broth on hand, so I grabbed a 1-Quart box.  (You can easily replace this recipe with vegetable stock.) I added the roasted carrots into the pot and half of the chicken stock.  I brought the soup to a light simmer and then I used my immersion blender to puree the vegetables together.  NOTE: If you are using a blender, then you will need to puree this in batches. Be very careful to put a towel on the lid of the blender, so you don't have an accident.  Personally, I recommend buying an immersion blender. It will make your life a lot easier, if you love pureed soups as much as we do!

The pureed carrots became pretty thick, so added the rest of the chicken stock-- one quart, total. At this point I added some coarse salt as seasoning and a little more white pepper. Hmmm. I wanted even more flavor. Ah!  White wine! I added a big splash of sauvignon blanc (about 1/4 cup).  Better, but I wanted more flavor.  Then it hit me-- orange juice!  I added a splash of fresh orange juice (slightly less then 1/4 cup). That was it!  I cut fresh chives from our herb garden, as a garnish.

 I turned the soup on low heat and whipped up a quick batch of  skillet cornbread....

...and then I took my first taste of Carrot-Ginger Soup.  The miracle happened. I smiled. I liked it!
VERDICT:  Speaking for my husband, he asked me what was in the soup.  He said it had delicious flavor, but he questioned if it was really carrot soup. He said it was sweet, creamy and flavorful.  He ate two bowls, as did I.  This is guilt-free soup, because it's creamy without any kind of heavy cream added.  The balance of ginger was very subtle.  The natural sweetness of the carrots was the star, but you could taste a mild heat of the ginger as you swallowed. But there was a second miracle-- my son, who has inherited my picky palate when I was his age-- he ate two bowls. He loved it.

I see future variation possibilities for this soup.  Sometime, I will add a can of Lite Coconut Milk, and some fresh lime juice. Yeah? A garnish of cilantro will bring this home with Thai flavors.

So, miracles can happen when someone makes a decision to overcome childhood aversions.  Do you have a picky carrot eater?  Give this a try! Let them guess what's in it.  Maybe you'll change your mind. I did!

Rain is forecast for this weekend, so I have more soups to come!

A printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy!





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21 comments:

Monica H said...

I've never had roasted carrots before, but I bet they're delicious. You know I'm not much of a ginger person, but I'd definitely eat this without having to twist my arm. ha!

bellini valli said...

Believe it or not broccoli sou was the mitacle in our family for a daughter who had a dislike to everything but Liptons, but ate every vegetable put in front of her. Should have tried roasted carrot.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I was never good at eating my carrots as a child too. Raw or cooked - I just didn't care for them.

Your soup looks delicious. I made something very similar not too long ago and it got rave reviews, as yours did. Maybe my palate is chancing or I'm growing up, but I really liked it too.
Sam

Joanne said...

I'm not really a raw carrot lover but give me some roasted carrots and I'm in caramelization heaven! This soup sounds fantastic and I love your coconut lime idea!

Noelle said...

I'm still on my carrot kick. I can't wait to try. GREAT idea with the Orange Juice!? I can taste the balance of bright, cream, roast and spice! yum.

TKW said...

I'm with you--cooked carrots are the Devil's Instrument. However, they're terrific in soup like this--can I tell you how much a similar soup eased my morning sickness when I was pregnant? It's genius!

My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

I have a very similar recipe. I will definitely roast my carrots next time. Thanks for the tip. This is a wonderful soup recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Kirsten

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

You got me with the title. I LOVE carrot soup, especially with ginger! In fact, I just had some for lunch - carrot soup with apple and curry. I never thought of roasting - that would make the flavor even better!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Oh what a delicious blog u have and a roasted carrot soup sounds so excitin!

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

Mmmm...I love soup of any kind this time of year. I have never had roasted carrot soup....sound delicious! :)

Debinhawaii said...

Such a brightly-hued, beautiful soup! I love ginger-carrot and like adding the brightness of apple or orange juice to it. So good! Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays! ;-)

Simona said...

Love the color! I am with you on boiled carrots by themselves. Roasting them was a great idea.

daphne said...

great soup for rainy days! another comfort food. I'm into carrots, anything about it?YUM!=)

Zibi said...

My friend loves carrot and ginger soup, but somehow I never get around to making it.
Yours looks really tasty, so I'm sure it will stick with me now (especially since I've bookmarked the recipe!)

LadyJayPee said...

I'm with you...not a big fan of cooked carrots. However your testimonial on this soup is selling me. :)

Quay Po Cooks said...

Roasted carrot soup sure will sounds great!! Definitely will try this "miracle" soup of yours!

bella (roz) said...

What a beautiful soup! I just love carrots! And that awesome spoon is the best!!!

Jenn said...

This soup is really nice, very flavorful, very filling, I love how the ginger gives it just a hint of spice....Very very good soup!

Sally said...

When do you add the ginger? Thanks!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Hi Sally,
Sorry you missed it, but in the pictorial I show that I add it in with the celery. In the printable recipe card, it's in the directions!

Sally said...

Thanks! I appreciate it.Thanks for adding it to the directions- it wasn't there before - I triple-checked and did search :)