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Gail’s Carrot Soup

This soup is designed to be quick and LESS distinctive than a lot of carrot soups. Why? I wanted to eat it for breakfast, serve it alongside almost anything, or possibly add something distinctive if the occasion warranted. I also wanted to include ginger — superfood! — without it being the key flavor.

The result? A mild, smooth soup you can dress up or enjoy as is any time of the day or night. Mmmmm! It’s not too carroty, not too cuminy, not too anything. It’s not even deserving of the raving that most blog food gets. It’s just good. Good!

This recipe makes 4 small servings, or 2 large servings; about 3 1/2 cups total. I’m cooking smaller these days because it’s just me and my husband in this empty nest.

I intentionally did not add any sweetener or lemon juice as I have seen in most carrot soup recipes. Carrots are pretty sweet by themselves, and we always look to reduce extraneous sugar intake so we can splurge on it elsewhereΒ for good health. Also, I planned to add some tanginess with my favorite new condiment sprinkle, ground sumac! Get some — optional, but delicious!

 

Gail’s Carrot Soup

1 Tbsp. butter (or more if you wish)
1 lb carrots
1 small onion, or half a medium
1 med clove garlic
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. olive oil (approximate, no need to really measure)
1 1/2 c. *unsalted chicken stock (or veg)
dash ground allspice (about a fourth of Β 1/4 tsp.)
dash ground mace (optional)
1/2 tsp salt (*use less salt to taste if you use salted stock!)
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

For serving:
A few tablespoons of plain yogurt, or plain Greek yogurt with some milk/cream mixed in (or sour cream, creme fraiche, or other favorite along those lines)
Ground sumac (optional)

Peel carrots and chop into several pieces each — as big as your food processor can handle. Chop until it ranges in size from rice to peas; there will undoubtedly be some large pieces which is fine. (If there are really large pieces, toss them back into the food processor to be chopped with the onions in an upcoming step.)

Melt butter over medium heat in 4 qt pot; add carrots, stir well, and cook without browning until getting tender, about 5 minutes, reducing heat partway through. Use more butter here if you wish ;)

Meanwhile, chop onion in food processor, mince garlic, grate ginger, and measure spices.

When carrots have become somewhat tender, add chopped onion and continue to cook and stir without browning another few minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, push mixture to the edges of the pan, pour a puddle of olive oil in the center and add cumin, garlic, and ginger to the puddle. Do a mini-fry of these ingredients for 30-60 seconds until cumin smells toasted but garlic has not browned at all.

Stir all together with ONLY 1 cup of broth and remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover tightly, reduce heat and steam for 10 minutes or until any large carrot pieces are soft.

Puree using immersion blender or regular blender — this is where the other 1/2 cup broth can come in handy. Use it as needed to achieve a smooth puree.

Return to pan, heat, and adjust salt and pepper; add a bit more cumin if you wish. Keep on heat to steam off liquid until it is desired thickness.

Serve topped with a large dollop of plain yogurt and a hearty sprinkle of ground sumac for tang.

Options for changing it up: add cilantro (chopped into the soup; plus as a topping); add lemon juice during the cooking process to add zip; use a bit of sweetener (honey, agave); stir in some cream after pureeing; use more ginger as a feature flavor. Bacon crumbles on top would work of course! Use your imagination!

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I really did eat this for breakfast. It was delicious, and I will be serving it up all winter!

Gail

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