The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Of Carrots, Mainly

So today KD let me have a taste of what she suspects may have been her best soup ever. She reckoned it had something to do with the carrots involved, which were, it seems, a bunch of organic specimens at the top of their game. I can certainly vouch for the tastiness of the results.

Thing is, soup made mainly from carrots is, not unsurprisingly, going to taste mainly of them there carrots. Got good carrots, chances are you got good carrot soup (or at least you’ve got good carrot soup potential). Needless to remark, the same can be said for many other types of soupy ingredients, and not just carrots, so extrapolate at your leisure.

Carrot and ginger soup

Mostly just carrots

Not being privy to what else KD put in her soup, that’s not the recipe that I’ve got below. Instead, it’s the carrot soup that I make most often. There’s no huge complex of flavours at work here (for soup with a bit more going on behind the scenes, I suggest you check out what Jenni had to say on the subject of chicken noodle soup). This, however, is a soup which tastes mainly of carrot. And ginger. Yes. It also tastes of ginger. I love it for its simplicity and because I mostly tend to have everything I need for it at the ready. I probably never make this exactly the same way twice. This is how I made it most recently.

Simple Carrot Soup with Ginger

This is based on a recipe found in Kurma Dasa’s lovely book Cooking With Kurma.

You’ll need:
  • About 700g carrots
  • 2 x 1in cubes of fresh root ginger (which yields a sharp ginger kick – halve this amount if you want something a bit more subtle)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • About 2 tblsps butter
  • 125g red lentils
  • About 1 litre water
  • 1.5 tsp salt or more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Flat leaf parsley
The Steps:
  • Peel and slice the carrots, finely chop or grate the ginger and finely chop the garlic.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir briefly.
  • Add the carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Rinse the red lentils in several changes of water, then add to the carrots along with about 1 litre of water and the salt.
  • Bring the whole thing to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until both the carrots and lentils are very tender.
  • Remove from the heat and blend until fairly smooth using an immersion blender, food processor or whatever blending equipment you have.
  • Return to the saucepan and gently reheat. The blended mixture will be very thick, so thin it to your desired consistency with additional water and add more salt if needed and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a couple of dollops of natural yoghurt and some chopped flat leaf parsley. The yoghurt both softens the ginger kick and helps to balance the sweetness of the carrots. It’s an essential addition for me.
The Variations:
  • Use a mixture of carrot and parsnip instead of just carrot.
  • Peel and dice a large potato and add at the same time as the carrots. You can do this instead of adding the lentils, or use both if you like.
  • The original on which this is based adds 0.5 tsp of asafedita powder with the ginger at the start of cooking. This adds a certain earthiness and you can use it instead of the garlic.
The Results:
  • About 5 or 6 hearty servings.

14 Comments

  1. Hey! That sounds good, if’n you like carrots:) I am not a carrot fan–weird, I know–but I bet it would be tasty w/butternut squash instead. I do enjoy a good soup–and I only have one wee frozen block of beef stock in the freezer. Sigh.

  2. Someone mind is turning to Spring I think! Welcome to the club…GREG

  3. I have to admit, I am not a carrot fan unless it comes in cake form with a thick layer of cream cheese icing. But then again, I’ve only had store-bought carrots, which means I may have been seriously shafted on flavor. When the farmers’ markets start up again here, I’ll be on the lookout for carrots at the top of their game!

  4. That carrot soup looks heavenly – love the addition of ginger. Yum!

  5. If there is garlic in something, that’s absolutely good for me. Never tried carrot soup, but generally if I make lentil soup, I add one carrot. So I think I should try this soup of carrot, mainly.

  6. coriander, Spud … it was fresh coriander ! though i’ll definitely try ginger in the next batch

  7. The lentils are a nice added thickener. Carrot soup is a great feel good concoction.

  8. Carrot soup seems to have gained so much popularity lately. I must try it. I’m not a big fan when it overpowers the dish, but this does sound good. I know I would love the ginger.

  9. Daily Spud

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Jenni: you’d have to like carrots for this one alright, but a butternut squash-y version, now that’s worth considering too :)

    Greg: yes, spring has finally sprung, the garden is starting to show some signs of life, what bounty will it bring this year…

    Tangled Noodle: funny, I absolutely detested cooked carrots as a kid, but I love them now. In soup form, they do need something to balance out their sweetness though. As for carrot in cake form – well, there was never anything wrong with that!

    Natasha: yes, the ginger give a nice bite to the soup

    zerrin: hope you like it!

    KD: and I’ll do likewise with the coriander… :)

    Duo Dishes: I often add some red lentils to soup, good for thickening, good for protein

    Lori: I guess carrot soup is not for everyone and I find that some versions can be too sweet, so I like to balance out that sweetness with a good measure of yoghurt when I’m eating it – it’s a combination that works for me!

  10. love this hearty soup n wonderful click.

  11. Looks great! I like the lentils. They’ll give it body and protein and some color too.

  12. This is a classic & lovely combination I use often! Your soup looks tasty!!

  13. This is one of my favorite soups. Talk about a taste paring made in heaven. My version does not have the red lentils so I am excited to try this combo. What a wonderful meal. Maybe with some of that lovely potato bread toasted to perfection. Now we’re talking.

  14. Daily Spud

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Navita: thanks!

    Maggie: absolutely agreed

    Sophie: welcome! It is indeed a great combo

    OysterCulture: oh yes with the potato bread, now you’re talking alright :)

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