A classic carrot-ginger soup is made easier by using baby carrots, eliminating the need for a lot of peeling and chopping.
Many pureed vegetable soups are a concentrated source of nourishment and a perfect comfort delivery system. Let’s face it, though—peeling and chopping two pounds of carrots is a bit of a project.
I was pleased with the brainstorm of tossing two bags of organic baby carrots (which are usually very sweet) into a soup pot, and even happier with how well the idea translates into this classic carrot-ginger soup.
Make sure to use the carrots while still fresh. Once they start drying out, the results won’t be as good. Using an immersion blender makes the preparation a breeze, but I prefer the extra step of transferring the soup to a blender (which needs to be done in a couple batches, depending on the size of the container).
Super smooth or chunky, as you prefer: I like this particular soup to be super-smooth, whereas I don’t mind when other pureed soups stay a bit chunky. That’s totally up to you.
Try the parsnip variation: The last time I made it, I happened to have a bag of parsnips in the fridge that were calling out to be used. Carrots and parsnips are compatible cousins, but I worried that the latter would somehow compromise the color and sweetness of the soup. Neither happened, in fact, I found that they intensified the flavor.
And the color? See for yourself. Of course, peeling and chopping the 8 or so parsnips made a bit more work and mess, but that was balanced out by the ease of using the pre-prepped baby carrots.
A soothing soup when you’re under the weather: Whether a straight-up carrot soup or a carrot parsnip soup, this vitamin-packed bowlful is a fantastic choice when you or someone you love has a cold, but you need not be under the weather to appreciate it.
It also makes a wonderfully light first course for a winter or early spring company meal. And if you’re trying to get your kids to appreciate soup, this is an excellent one to start with!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Two 1-pound bags baby carrots (or see parsnip variation)
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or squeeze-bottle ginger
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups nondairy milk, or as needed
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish, optional
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
- Add the carrots or carrots and parsnips along with the tomatoes and ginger.Add enough water to not quite cover the vegetables.
- Bring to a slow boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the carrots (or carrots and parsnips) are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables, along with a little of the cooking liquid, to a blender. Process in batches to a smooth consistency and return the puree to the soup pot. You can also use an immersion blender, but a regular blender does better to get this soup super-smooth.
- Stir in enough nondairy milk to give the soup a medium-thick consistency.
- Return to low heat.Add the orange juice and zest, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook just until piping hot. Serve at once. Pass around chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish.
Parsnip variation: Use one 1-pound bag baby carrots plus one 1-pound bag fresh parsnips.
There's a debate as to whether parsnips need to be peeled. If they're small and look very fresh, you can get away with just scrubbing — especially if you'll be pureeing this in a blender rather than using an immersion blender.
If the parsnips are larger, older, and the skin looks thick and tough, go that extra step and peel them.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 173Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g
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