They say that necessity is the mother of invention, but I would say also that in cooking abundance is the mother of invention! For instance, what to do when your CSA box is full of one type of vegetable? Or when you buy 10 pounds of carrots from your local wholesaler?
At our house, this last has translated into a lot of carrot soup, and the most recent batch was especially tasty so I thought I’d share it.
Carrots and ginger are a classic combination, and the mint pistou gives it a nice summer taste. I used nuts in the pistou, which is not traditional but I wanted to add the extra bit of crunch. I would probably have used walnuts had I not been out of them, but if you made our almond macarons recipe (featured on our YouTube channel) you might have leftover ground almonds just like I did! I have to say, the result was spectacular, but I am always a fan of pistou or pesto in soups. I used a bit of parsley in addition to the mint, but the mint was the flavor that really shone through.
I always make my soups using my homemade bone broth. (You can find that recipe here, although in this case I used chicken bones.) Even in summer I make sure to have some on hand. If you don’t have broth, though, you could use water.
Carrot Ginger Soup with Mint Pistou
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Cook method: Simmer
Ingredients for the soup:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8-10 carrots, chopped
- 2 Tbsp grated ginger
- 2 quarts broth (or water)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt & pepper to taste
- goat cheese to garnish
- squeeze of fresh lime to garnish
Ingredients for the pistou:
- 1 large garlic clove, minced finely
- 1/3 cup crushed roasted almonds
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely
- Salt, to taste
- Olive oil
1. In a soup pot or dutch oven, sauté the onion and celery until they just start to color.
2. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for a minute or two more, then add the carrots and a healthy pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then add the broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are cooked through.
3. In the meantime, make the pistou by finely chopping all the ingredients, then blending them with good quality extra virgin olive oil and seasoning to taste.
4. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup in batches in a blender (always be careful when blending hot liquids!), then return it to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add a little water to thin it.
5. Serve the soup in bowls with a healthy dollop of pistou in the middle, goat cheese crumbles around the outside, and a squirt of lime to finish it.
Of course, if you wanted to do a vegan version you could use water or vegetable stock instead of the bone broth, and leave off the goat cheese!
What is your favorite way to use up carrots? I’ve still got plenty in the fridge!
By Peg Kern
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