When I make soup in the wintertime, I usually improvise something hearty and rustic. I start by dicing carrots, onion, celery, and maybe some garlic or shallots, throwing them into a dutch oven to soften with some olive oil. Next, I’ll forage in the kitchen to see what other ingredients I have on hand. The fridge might yield some root veggies, cabbage, or winter greens, and the pantry is stocked with all manner of whole grains, lentils, and other legumes to choose from. When I have homemade stock, that’ll go in too — otherwise, I usually have a quart of low-sodium broth in the pantry, and water works in a pinch, too.
I’m sure people besides me have been making soup this way for eons. It’s really hard to go wrong. Unfailingly, I end up with a warming, filling meal.
Today’s creation, however, is not a thrown-together, make-do-with-what’s-around kind of soup. This one took planning, grocery shopping, and a whole lot of restraint. I did not come up with it on my own — a good friend of mine happens to be a cooking assistant at the local recreation center, where she picks up all kinds of wonderful recipes. Happily, she shared this one with me.
The ingredient list is short and concise, yielding a perfectly balanced puree of ginger-spiked carrots. Light coconut milk was my addition, and it adds just enough creaminess to make the texture luxurious and velvety. You can leave it out if you prefer a more austere soup, or use the full-fat version if you want to go for broke.
Carrot Ginger Soup
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
10 medium-sized carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8″ coins
2-inch knob of ginger root, diced
3/4 tsp. curry powder
4 C. vegetable broth
3/4 C. light coconut milk
1. In a medium-sized soup pot or dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over a medium flame. Add the diced onion, sauteing until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the carrots, ginger, curry powder, and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring up to a simmer and turn flame down to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk, then use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Ladle into bowls and serve.