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.
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.
- 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
- Natural yoghurt
- Flat leaf parsley
- 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.
- 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.
- About 5 or 6 hearty servings.