I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Gingered carrot soup

I owe many debts to my teachers over the years.  They have left me with poems that I will always know, mnemonic devices for calculating mathematical formulae, a discovery of certain books, and -- fundamentally -- a love for learning.  Yes, I admit it: as much as I loved summer vacation, I also looked forward to September and starting school again.  There was something so hopeful about new notebooks and sharpening pencils so full of promise (though only in a metaphorical sense -- obviously I had to have the latest, greatest mechanical pencils).

One teacher I had for most of my high school years was my Latin teacher.  From her I learned not only the language, but also more about English grammar than I'd ever thought possible, as well as the literature, culture, and history of the Roman empire.  We made togas and mosaics and tried out the occasional historical Roman recipe (which have not aged quite as well as, say, the Virgil or Tacitus.  Tongue of dove, anyone?).  

While I don't have as much call to use my Latin in everyday speech these days, what I do use more frequently is my Latin teacher's gingered carrot soup recipe.  This soup is a bright orange blend of the sweetness of carrots tempered with spiky ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and a little peanut butter.  It's perfect for the coldest winter day or even livening up a slightly cool summer day.

I know that many people hated the first day of school (or the rest of the days of school for that matter).  In Latin we would say "de gustibus non est disputandum."  This is true in general, but regarding this soup there can be no argument.

Gingered carrot soup

1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. ginger, peeled, chopped
1 lb. carrots, peeled, chopped
4+ cups chicken or vegetable stock
¼ tsp. dried red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. turmeric
1 ½ Tbsp. fish sauce (leave out if vegetarian/vegan)
3 Tbsp. lime juice 
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil (dark/toasted)
½ cup coconut milk
salt and pepper
cilantro and sesame seeds for garnish

Saute onion in olive oil. Add celery, garlic, and ginger, and saute a little more. Add everything else except garnish. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft. Cool and puree in blender, or blend carefully with a stick blender in the pot. Correct seasonings and reheat gently. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

Serves 4+


Leela said...

I love carrot and ginger soup. But the several versions I've had don't have soy sauce or peanut butter. I can see how these two ingredients will make the soup taste good, though. This is something I'd like to try. Sounds perfect for the summer.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

What a delightful soup. Can't wait to try it. :)

Reeni♥ said...

This looks so delicious! There is just a ton of flavor in here!

Mel @ bouchonfor2.com said...

mmm this looks yum and healthy :) great colours.

The Duo Dishes said...

Peanut butter??? Different! So interesting. We love carrot soup hot or cold.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin