Here is an easy soup that we make a lot. We got it out of a book called The Wine Lover’s Cookbook that we picked up at a used bookstore a couple years ago. It’s actually wound up being a really good book, we’ve used it a lot. This soup has a fairly long list of ingredients which combine to give you a deeply flavorful, complex soup, but long as the list may be, it’s really straight-forward. We recently made a huge batch of it and then froze it so we’d have some instant lunches on hand. As written, it’s a fully “gingered” soup. So if you are making this and thinking, “I love ginger! Maybe just a little bit more here…” consider yourself warned: I made it recently with three rounded tablespoons of chopped ginger and it was… gingery. That said, three flat tablespoons gives a nice balanced bite.
The carrots we used were given to us by Nick at Sunseed Farm up near Bellingham. I’m not sure what kind they were, but they were blunt ended and really crisp and sweet, actually quite a bit better than the ones we have in the garden. See what you can find at farmers markets, it’s a great time of year for carrots. Sid Goldstein (the “wine lover” himself) suggests pairing this soup with an off-dry Gewürztraminer, a pairing which serves nicely to quench the bite of the ginger.
Spicy Gingered Carrot Soup
Adapted from The Wine Lover’s Cookbook
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, ends trimmed and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 Tbsp peeled, chopped fresh ginger
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4½ cups chicken stock
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1½ Tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- sesame seeds, toasted
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, garlic, ginger and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the stock, red pepper, coriander, turmeric, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, peanut butter, brown sugar, sesame oil, coconut milk, and milk and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes.
Let cool slightly before transferring the soup to a food processor or blender. Puree until very smooth. We do this in about three batches, putting the pureed soup in a new pot. If you have an immersion blender, you can do this in the original pot. Season the pureed soup with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
The soup can be served immediately, or you can cover it and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It actually makes a lovely cold soup in the summer, or a warm soup in the fall. When serving, garnish with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. You can also add a couple drops of sesame oil to the top if you’d like.
Serves 4 to 6