Sunday, August 24, 2008
Behold, the drabbiness of fall has arrived (Look at my poor solar powered doggy, it's no wonder that my basil plant is dying from lack of sunlight). And when it's fall in Seattle, you know that it's time to bring out the Macs and wellies. And if you're all snuggled inside the house, you're constantly tempted to bring out the good old dutch oven and make some warm soup, which you can then eat while watching TV with your socks on.
I staggered out this morning to the grocery store in search of carrots. I realized that baby carrots are so much more expensive than regular carrots. I'm not going to start on a rant about how ridiculous produce prices are these days ($2.49 for a pound of apples?! Blasphemous!), but I would suggest to skip things that come pre-packaged and come with the added convenience. I managed to buy about 1 pound of regular carrots for less than a dollar. A pound of baby carrots cost $2.29.
Curried carrot soup is the perfect rainy-day comfort food because it combines heat inducing curry powder with the honeyed goodness of carrots and sweet onions. It only takes less than 30 minutes to conjure up a satisfying dinner. Fresh bread, herbed olive oil dip and a glass of Chardonnay completes this meal.
Curried Carrot Soup
Prep time = 5 mins
Cook time = 20 mins
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 stalk celery
1 large sweet onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
Low fat yogurt (optional)
Roughly cut peeled carrots, celery and sweet onion into 1 inch cubes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven. Saute garlic and onions on medium-low heat until onions become translucent. Add in carrots, celery, curry powder, minced ginger and Garam Masala and saute for another 7 - 8 minutes until curry powder is fragrant.
Add in vegetable broth, bay leaves, thyme and black pepper, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until carrots are soft. Turn heat off, wait for soup to cool a little and then transfer to food processor or use immersion blender to pulp the carrot soup.
Season to taste with salt and serve with some cilantro leaves and a dollop of low fat yogurt.
This soup freezes well, and should keep up to three days.
To make a herbed olive oil bread dip, put a pinch of oregano, basil, rosemary and chili flakes in a small dish. Add about 1/4 tsp of minced garlic, a dash of salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar. Steep this is 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for about 15 minutes. Serve with fresh warm bread.