I am an easy target for fast food. Which isn’t to say I buy it very often, but if I’m out, and hungry, my brain has come extremely adept at talking me into buying something I shouldn’t.
I had another meeting around dinnertime tonight, at a bar that I’m sure serves many varieties of battered and deep-fried things, served with creamy dips in waxed paper-lined wicker baskets. As I was getting ready to go, wondering if anyone else at the meeting would suggest getting something to eat, and pondering its close proximity to Crave Cupcakes, I thought I’d deflect temptation by bringing some soup with me in a travel mug.
I made carrot soup the other day in order to test a recipe for an upcoming issue of City Palate, so reheated a mugful in the microwave and poured it into my insulated Starbucks mug. It worked splendidly. I swirled in a spoonful of plain yogurt before screwing on the top; sort of like a spicy carrot latte. I love yogurt in curried soups; it adds creaminess without coconut milk or cream, and of course protein and calcium. Plus it adds a cool relief to the spicy soup.
I felt like such a grown-up, driving through snowy rush-hour traffic, sipping on my carrot soup and listening to the CBC news on the radio. So you really do turn into your parents.
Curried Ginger Carrot Soup
canola or olive oil, for cooking
small dollop of butter
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
½ tsp. curry paste or powder (or to taste)
1 lb. carrots, peeled or scrubbed
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup apple or orange juice
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro (optional)
In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of oil and the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté them for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the ginger and curry paste and cook for another minute or two.
While the onions and celery cook, chop the carrots in to 1” chunks, and add them to the pot along with the potato, chicken stock, juice and water. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the carrots and potato are very tender.
Blend the soup right in the pot with a hand-held submersion blender (or transfer in batches to a blender) until smooth. Reheat if necessary and serve immediately, swirled if you like with a spoonful of yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro. Serves 4-6.
And some variations:
Thyme, Fennel and Orange Carrot Soup: add 1 tsp. thyme and replace the curry paste with ½ tsp. crushed fennel seeds.
Carrot-Caraway Soup: replace the curry paste with 1 tsp. crushed caraway seeds.