September is for Soup

carrotsThere are so many delicious fresh veggies popping up out of the garden now that making veggie soups is practically a no-brainer. Luckily for us because one of the challenges this month in the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Community is to get creative with soups. I’m tickled to be a local ambassador for Jamie’s program and I *try* to take part in the monthly challenges. (Yes, I can hear that yoda-like voice in my head: Do or do not, Luke, there is no try ;-))

This month, I  managed to invent  a lovely fresh Curried Carrot Ginger Coconut soup to serve up as lunch to some colleagues and, happily, fulfill one of September’s challenges.

I posted a couple of pics of the process on the Dishing Facebook page and there was a clamour for the recipe (well, okay, there were two or three of you that asked, but you were noisy!).  There is not really a recipe for this soup. as with most of the soups, stews and sauces we dish up, there is a method and  the specific ingredients are inspired by what’s in the garden, at the market or sitting in the fridge.

So what follows is the method for this soup, with quantities approximated. I guarantee you that you can easily add ‘a little of this and a little of that’ and it will be delicious.

The soup was inspired by a beautiful abundance of  fresh carrots coming out of the garden and the subtle shift from summer’s warmth to a crisp fall chill. Soup, then. Warming and harvest-fresh.

Carrot soup methodChop up one medium onion, two or three stalks of celery (leaves included), a decent-sized clove of garlic and  thumb-size or more of fresh ginger (depends on how much ginger heat you like in your soup).

In a large heavy bottomed soup pot, lightly sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in some butter and olive oil. I am quite generous with butter in most of my soups. If you are going for a vegan version, omit the butter and just use olive oil or coconut oil.  Meanwhile, chop up approximately 4 cups of fresh carrots. I had lovely small, sweet carrots from the garden, but you could probably use three or four large carrots to give you the quantity you need. Maybe five. Core and chop up an apple. You don’t need to peel it.

Once the onion-garlic-ginger mixture is soft, add approx 1-2 Tbsp of a good curry powder, stir into  the onion mixture and let it cook a little bit (say, two minutes?), then add the carrots and the apple to the pot. Add a bay leaf and some chopped parsley. Mix and sweat these. I usually sweat the veg for about six or seven minutes, depending on the veg.

carrot ginger soupAdd 1 L of veggie broth. This can be a store- bought organic broth, or a combination of veg cooking waters that you have saved in your freezer or fridge, or a broth you made yourself. I made a vegetarian soup, but you could use chicken broth as well. Simmer for at least a half an hour or 45 minutes until carrots are soft. At this point you can carry on with the method, or you can cool and bung the whole lot into the fridge and save it for the next day. I left mine overnight and did the next steps in the morning before lunch.

Either way, let the soup cool and then use a blender or food processor to process in batches until the desired consistency is reached. This is largely a matter of taste, or mouth-feel preference. I prefer my soups more bisque-y than baby food smooth.

Put the blended soup back into the pot and add approximately half a 400 mL can of coconut milk. Be sure to shake it up first. Depending on the consistency, you can add a little water, some more broth or even a little white wine at this point. You can also add a little more coconut milk if you’d like it creamier. Check your seasonings and add a little more salt and pepper if needed. Heat through.

curried carrot ginger coconut soupI served the soup in shallow bowls with some fresh chopped chives sprinkled on top. I think it would be awesome with fresh chopped cilantro, I just didn’t have any and chives grow in my garden.

If you have a mystical bent (who, me?) you can decorate the soup with some kind of powerful symbol to add even more good mojo to the meal. I opted for drizzling with coconut milk in the shape of a choku rei, the reiki power symbol.

You can add your own special magic.

 

 

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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.

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