Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Curried Carrot Soup

I do love the Seniors' Cooking Club that I lead.

Not only do I get to cook with a group of enthusiastic participants who are anxious to learn how to cook with items like fennel, quinoa and coconut oil, they are constantly fuelling my love of learning and discovering new things in the kitchen.

I was always keen to research random food-related trivia- like the amount of protein in quinoa (14 grams per 100 grams!), how to better absorb iron (add lemon or orange juice!) and the differences between Bronze Fennel and Florence Fennel (Florence produces a nice edible bulb!) -but now I was doing it for a captive audience.

The best thing? Picking up ideas- new and old- from people who have lived life on this Earth longer than I. Their thrifty ideas based on lean years they have encountered (re-purpose those food scraps before they go into the compost!), their techniques in the kitchen (use a salt scrub to take the sour notes from a cut pineapple! more info here) and them sharing the recipes that they are keen to try or have wowed their friends and family with. Some of these are oldies but goodies but some are brand new discoveries.

I was given this recipe by a participant, and she raved about it. I don't know the origins but it is adapted slightly from her original recipe to simplify it a bit. It is an easy recipe and easily served within 30 minutes.

I'm so thankful for these delicious finds along life's way!

Curried Carrot Soup
Makes about 1 litre

You can substitute coconut oil for the olive oil and butter to make it vegan-friendly and to add flavour. Also, you can add a full, regular-sized can of coconut milk if you desire to tame the spice a bit. I used a small 160 ml can as I love the heat of a good curry and the thickness of the soup with a little less coconut milk than the original recipe called for.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp medium curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups peeled and sliced carrots
3 cups vegetable stock or broth
1-160 ml can of coconut milk (or 1-398 ml can)
optional: yogurt to serve

1. In a large pot on medium heat, melt the oil and butter. Add onion and stir occasionally while cooking for about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper and let cook for another minute. Add carrots and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
3. Add coconut milk, add more if needed. Blend with hand blender or in blender until smooth.
4. Serve hot with a spoonful of yogurt.