I've got a cold...congestion, aches, bit of a sore throat...nothing fancy, just feeling kind of lousy. Yesterday, thinking about what to make for dinner, I nixed the idea of something like pasta and homemade sauce in favor of something a bit more soothing. Soup.
You know how it is when you aren't feeling well. You just want to feel better. And in the meantime, you want to feel...nurtured. Wrapped up in a blanket. Cozy. Cared for.
So then it was on to what kind of soup I should make. I thought about miso soup with little cubes of tofu...or chicken noodle (no chicken on hand, though, so never mind that)...some sort of bean soup...butternut squash....
I settled on carrot. I'd bought a big bag of carrots to make my nephew's birthday cake a couple of weeks ago, and I still had a ton left. They're big carrots.
So, okay, I'd make some sort of carrot soup. What else would I put in there? Besides the obvious - onion, celery...a little butter...garlic? yeah, garlic is good for you...what else...carrots are sweet...what would work with that...maybe some ginger? yes, ginger and carrots...nice balance there...but it still needed something more...what else would go nicely with that...sweet and kind of sharp/spicy...ooh - curry kinds of flavors...cumin and coriander! Yesssssss, that should do nicely. I had some chicken stock in the fridge, too. Perfect.
So here's what I came up with:
1/4 stick of butter (you could use less)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
a 1" knob (approx) of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped to coins about 1/2 inch thick or so
3 1/4 cups chicken stock (that's what I had)
3/4 cup white wine
salt to taste
Got that? Okay.
Melt the butter in a large pot, then add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or so until the onion and celery soften.
Add the garlic and ginger, saute a minute or so, then add in the coriander and cumin. Stir around for another minute.
Add everything else - the carrots, wine, and chicken stock.
Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft - about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your carrots.
Once the carrots are soft, puree the mixture (I started out using an immersion blender but ended up putting everything in my food processor) until smooth. Taste, and add salt if you want to.
I think I should have cooked mine a bit longer. The carrots could have been a bit softer, and I think my final product would have been smoother as a result.
But still. It tasted very good. The ginger and carrot are a nice combination, and the cumin and coriander provided a mild, warming undercurrent of flavor.
I also made some little rolls to go along with it. You can see that recipe here.
The verdict? Bill and I liked it, Julia said she liked it, but I think she was saying that to look good in front of Daddy, because Alex definitely did NOT like it and was quite vocal and dramatic about the whole thing.
Anyway. If you've got a big bag of carrots in the fridge, some fresh ginger kicking around, and are in need of warmth and comfort, give this little soup a try. (P.S. - I garnished the soup with a few dried ginger chips.)
If nothing else, it'll be great for your eyesight, right?