Spicy Carrot Soup

John and I sometimes play a food geek game of guessing what the big food trend is in restaurant fare. You know, based on what you see popping up on menus everywhere: “Gruyère is so the new Asiago.” Or my personal favorite, “The cupcake store trend is so dead. Pudding stores will be the next dessert boutique trend.”

Without it being officially declared, at least within my knowledge, it seemed like carrot ginger soup had to have been a big late summer/early fall trend this year. Knowing my feeling about ginger, this was not a trend I could get on board with, but admittedly, I could see the appeal of a sunny, warm bowl of a sweet yet spicy soup. I thought about making a soup of my own so I could be in control of balancing the flavors (aka, make sure that I taste the carrot, not just the ginger.)

I thought one great way to make sure those flavors were balanced would be to have something soft and creamy to contrast with the heat of the ginger. Having fallen in love with this roasted carrot and avocado salad, I thought maybe I could play off the flavors of that salad by roasting the carrots and topping the soup with a little cold salad of diced avocados and chives.

Added to the soup were some hot yellow peppers from the CSA, the requisite bit of ginger, and a combo of spices including a bit of cumin and some yellow curry powder. This was so delicious! When you get a perfect spoonful of soup with a bit of avocado the flavor layers, if I remember correctly, go like this: cold, creamy avocado melts into the sweetness of the carrots, intensified by roasting. Then the next thing you know, you get this undercurrent of heat from the peppers and earthy cumin. Then at the very last finish is a subtle flick of ginger which in my book, is the way to enjoy that pesky root.

  • 1 bunch of carrots, preferably fresh ones with the green tops still on
  • 2 hot yellow peppers… banana peppers?
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a foil lined cookie sheet, layout your carrots and peppers which you’ve roughly chopped into large pieces in a single layer. Toss these with 1 tbsp of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes.

In a large soup pot, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions have softened. Add the roasted carrots, peppers, cumin, and curry. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes. Add some more water if you need to. Blend the soup using an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the avocado, chives and a little pinch of salt and pepper along with the lemon juice to keep the avocado green. Serve the soup in bowls with a heaping tablespoon or so of the avocado garnish.

CSA Count: 5

Carrots, hot peppers, onion, garlic, chives

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