Ok, so the last post got me thinking that maybe y’all wanted a post about a Fall inspired soup. Well I’ve got just the thing. Carrot Soup. Yes, it’s “just a carrot soup”, but it’s an excellent base soup, to which you can add other things, like squash, or pumpkin, or squash and apple… you get the gist of it. I got the inspiration for this soup out of two cook books, “Saved by Soup’ by Judith Barrett and “Starting Out: The Essential Guide to Cooking on Your Own” by Julie Van Rosendaal. This last book has been my go-to book for about 5 years now. It’s an excellent book, filled with tips and tricks about everything. It’s really geared towards people just moving out (like me) but everyone at my mom’s uses it!
They both have similar recipes for the Carrot Soup I made, so I mixed the two together and got an excellent result. Usually in thicker soups, like potato and leek soups, or curried coconut and squash soups, they will get you to use milk/cream/coconut milk to thicken them. What’s great about the “Saved by Soup” book, is that the author proposes to replace the milk by the same amount of rice. Therefore making this soup an excellent choice for lactose intolerant people! Also, when you do this, you can white or brown rice. Not really a big difference (I’ve done it with both), but just take notice of the rice you are using. Look for Gluten Free specific rice ( I really like the Lundberg Family Farm’s products, http://www.lundberg.com/) for those who are intolerant/Celiac.
A nice touch to this soup, for a garnish, are toasted pumpkin seeds. I buy raw, unsalted seeds, and roast them in a frying pan for something quick. No oils needed since they become oily their own. Just make sure to watch them well. They will start to brown and puff up pretty fast. You can also garnish the soup with blue cheese, goat cheese, feta cheese, or sour cream. Add chives or green onions to it for a treat. So many choices! Even bacon bits would be awesome!
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 4 cloves of garlic, minced (OPTIONAL)
– 4 big carrots (or more)
– 2 stalks of celery, diced (OPTINAL)
– 2 small, or one large, butternut squash, peeled and chopped (OPTIONAL)
– 5 cups of vegetable broth
– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage or rosemary (OPTIONAL)
– 1/2 cup rice (Arborio, Basmati, Short Grain Brown Rice, etc.)
* you can add sweet curry powder to it!
** If you are buying store bought both, you can buy broth cubes or liquid broths. I aim for the reduced sodium ones when possible, however, PC’s Organic’s Vegetable Broth (that comes in a box) its great, slightly saltier than I’d like it, but it makes quite the difference in taste compared to a lower sodium broth
*** If you’re watching out for gluten free items, make sure you check the rice (as mentioned, Lundberg’s is certified gluten free) and the broth. They are tricky sometimes and it’s always a good thing to read labels!
Sauté onions and garlic for 3/5 mins.in the olive oil. Add carrots and celery and sauté them for 3-5 minutes. ( Add squash and sauté for 1 min). Add broth, rice and herbs. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Remove from heat, let cool, and with an immersion blender (or food processor) blend the soup until smooth.
Serve hot, warm or cold, with your choice of garnishes! This can definitely be a side dish or a main course. It feeds about 4-5 people (that includes seconds), or 6 lunches and 1-2 dinner portions (if you freeze it)
Now I’m really gone to make my kale chips!