Yes, you guessed it…I’ve started going to yoga. I am officially a Cantabrigian (n, a native resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts according to Merriam-Webster Online dictionary). Granted, I still try to look like a ballerina in class, I can’t hold a single pose, and I giggle when the teacher says “namaste,” but I do enjoy it and feel great afterward. After class a few weeks ago, I wanted to extend the healthy glow and was super hungry, but had virtually no vegetables in my fridge except for an almost full bag of shredded carrots a week past their use by date. They looked fine, showed no growth, and were not slimy at all. I figured I could turn them into a soup. I’m sure some of you out there are already horrified and will never eat in my home again, but come on….there are starving children somewhere in the world, this was much better than eating Ben and Jerry’s straight from the container, and I wouldn’t run this type of risk for guests. Moving on.
I checked out C&Z and searched for “carrot soup”– Clotilde had a recipe for carrot-mint soup and one of the comments mentioned replacing the mint with coriander. This sounded like a good starting point. I played around a bit and here’s what I came up with. It was great and will definitely reappear on my table for guests (with fresh carrots…).
Inspired by Chocolate & Zucchini’s Soupe de Carotte a la Mente I consider this a quick and easy meal because except for chopping the onion, there is virtually no prepping required, and everything is in one pot. The only major clean-up is the pot, your immersion blender, and a few utensils.
Serves 4 as starter or 2 as main
2T olive or vegetable oil
½ onion (red or white), chopped
1-2 t garlic, minced (1-2 cloves)
1 T coriander
~10 oz bag shredded carrots (can also use baby carrots or large peeled and cut carrots)
Ersatz chicken broth mix + 5-6 C water (or chicken or vegetable broth) – I use Osem brand but it does contain MSG
1.5 T chopped cilantro*
1 T lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat; saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent
Add coriander; stir and heat until coats onion/garlic mixture and becomes fragrant – approximately 5 minutes
Add carrots and stir frequently until begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes
Add enough broth to cover carrots and at least 1 inch (if using ersatz chicken broth, don’t worry too much about mixing with powder beforehand)
Bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer for ~15 minutes until carrots soften.
If using larger carrots, this might take longer; when carrots are soft, use immersion blender to puree, but allow some chunks to remain
Remove from heat and add cilantro, lemon juice if using, and salt and pepper to taste (may not need salt if using ersatz chicken broth powder); serve hot
* I keep chopped herbs in my freezer so they are ready to use in soups and other dishes. If my basil or mint plant is overgrown, or I have bought too much, I chop up the herbs, wrap in plastic in a roll so it is easy to measure by eye, and then store in a freezer bag. When I want to use these “fresh” frozen herbs later, they defrost really quickly, especially when dropped in a pot of soup.