RECIPE: Creamy Carrot and Ginger Soup Spices Up a Cold Day

By Tom Liddy on December 26, 2012 9:32am 

NEW YORK CITY — As winter bears down on the Big Apple, nothing is nicer than a steaming, hot bowl of soup. But that doesn't mean that you have to load up the warming concoctions with potatoes, butter and other fattening ingredients.

Carrots are a wonderful root vegetable that are loaded with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and other nutrients that form a great base for soups.

Often they're used in mirepoix, traditionally along with onions and celery, to boost the flavor of soups and stocks, but this recipe features them front and center, capitalizing on their natural sweetness.

It will also feature a quick cooking time to preserve the bright color of the vegetables and retain as much of their nutrients as possible.

Another key ingredient in the dish, ginger, is a nutritional powerhouse itself, that has been shown to be effective in easing stomach ailments, according to the National Institutes of Health. The effects of the ginger rhizome, which gives dishes a refreshingly spicy kick, are also being studied for osteoporosis, arthritis and joint inflammation, the NIH said.

And the soup also takes advantage of green apple, which is high in fiber and vitamin C, to add a sweet tart kick and brighten the finish.

A healthy dose of chicken stock lends an earthy element to the mix, which is blended to a velvety finish before serving. Add a swirl of cream and serve.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb. bag of carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 knob of ginger, minced (or more, depending on how spicy you like it)

5 cups of chicken stock (homemade is better)

2 green apples

Salt and pepper

Cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large stock pot on a medium-high flame and add a tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Sweat the onions, carrots, celery and ginger for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the stock, which should just cover the vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the ingredients are just tender.

4. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then transfer to a blender in batches (or use an immersion blender if you have one).

5. Blitz until smooth. (Don't fill any higher than two-thirds of the way in order to avoid the hot liquids and gasses from blowing the lid off.  Make sure to keep a firm grip on the lid of the blender using a towel or rag in order to avoid getting burned.  Also, open the center cap slightly to allow the gasses, which are roiled up by the blending process.)

6. Return the soup to the pot and add a swirl of cream to smooth things out. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to.

7. Garnish with some fresh cilantro and dig in.

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