I HAD A TEN POUND BAG OF CARROTS.
SO, I decided to take a shot at a delicious carrot soup. My first batch was good, but not great. For the next few batches, I added sweet notes from an overly-ripe pear and golden raisins. I also wanted some creaminess, but dairy-free. So, I went with cashew cream, which also lends some sweet notes. I could have also used coconut milk, but I'm just not a fan of the added taste profile in this kind of soup. I do like the addition of fresh turmeric. I feel like it helped heighten all the deliciously earthy flavors and the beautiful color. I also doubled the number of carrots that most recipes call for. When I am making soup, I want enough left over for seconds or to freeze. Lastly, most recipes call for peeled carrots. I like to keep the skin if I can, and instead of peeling them (and the pear), I scrub them down well with a brush reserved for scrubbing down veggies. Another point I wanted to test? Broth. Most recipes default to using a meat-based broth, but I don't think you need to do that. I used a combination of homemade vegetable broth and plain water (5 cups of each) only because it was all the broth I had. Still tasted delicious. I think you would be fine even if you used just water. Last ... if you want to cut this recipe in half - go for it. Again, I love family portions and leftovers.
Creamy Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup grated ginger
1-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 ripe green pear, diced
16 large carrots, washed and sliced in rounds (no need to peel) (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon salt
10 cups veggie broth and/or water
1 cup cashew cream *
1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic. Cook until opaque, about 1 minute.
2. Add ginger and turmeric. Mix well. Cook another minute. Add raisins, peppercorns, and pear. Cook another minute.
3. Add carrots. Mix well and cook 3 minutes. Add salt, broth or water, and cashew cream.
4. Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots soften. Turn heat off.
5. Once the pan is cool enough to handle safely, transfer contents to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender, but I prefer really blending everything down well until it is as smooth as possible.
6. Serve piping hot in bowls garnished with ground black pepper and a dash of olive oil.
* Making cashew cream is easy. Soak 1 cup unsalted & unroasted cashews in 1 cup of water at least 2 hours to overnight. Drain. Place in blender with another cup of water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Note: In so many of my creamy soups, I just add soaked cashews to the main ingredients as they cook and then blend them all down together. For this one, I just envisioned this really blending down as smoothly as possible, so I went that extra step. Feel free to try it either way.