As the nation’s biggest food holiday of the year approached (that’s Thanksgiving for all you non-US readers), I needed to make some room in the crisper. Making soup is one way to clean out the fridge, fulfilling my deep love for using up the last bits of things – this month alone, I’ve made vichysoisse, asparagus soup, and cream of mushroom with the leftover vegetables from previous dinners. Soup is not just cold weather fare, it’s a great way to get your vegetables and can also help fill you up at the beginning of a meal so you don’t end up gorging yourself.
As luck would have it, I found myself with an enormous bag of carrots taking up space in the fridge. With just a bit of roasting, the carrots are transformed into a rich and full-flavored vegetable that can star in a soup all on its own (with a few minor additions). There are so many versions of carrot soups out there, but my husband is not a huge fan of coconut milk or curry (two very popular ingredients that complement carrots very well). This soup has ginger, onion, allspice, and coriander – all ingredients that warm the belly – but eschews cream (save for an optional dollop during serving).
If you skip the cream, it’s vegan and gluten-free! A simple and satisfying soup that you can use to curb your appetite or to help transition to lighter food after you load up on turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
Carrot Ginger Soup
3 lb carrots, peeled and cut half crosswise
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
Avocado oil or ghee
Salt and pepper
Optional for serving: creme fraiche or sour cream, chopped parsley
Drizzle some avocado oil on carrots to coat, then arrange on a rimmed baking tray. Roast carrots at 400F for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. Take out of oven and set aside.
In a medium sized soup pot, add some avocado oil or ghee, then add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for one more minute. Add roasted carrots, ginger, enough broth to cover the vegetables, and spices. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium heat.
To puree, you can use an immersion blender, or you can transfer the mixture into a stand blender. Be very careful as you blend, since the soup will be very hot. I like my pureed soups to have a little texture, so I do not blend on the highest setting when using a Vitamix – it will be too smooth. Return soup to the pot, simmer on low heat, and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle into bowls and top with sour cream or creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of parsley.