Monday, September 22, 2008

Agent Orange

Ready for your daily beta-carotene dose from me as I plow through the 11 lbs of carrots? Let's begin!

I specifically separated my carrots for this recipe... I have nothing against my Purple Haze beauties, really - they're deliciously sweet and crunchy, and I haven't come across a bitter one in either year's harvest yet! The only problem with them is that, when cooked, they leach their colour like beets do. And I don't mean that they would make a white Vichyssoise a pretty lavender. The effect they have upon being cooked is more of a, well... disturbing prison grey tinge. Not something to make you say "mmm, lunch!". So I only chose my all-orange guys for this.

And what is "this", you ask? Well, the other day when I was whining about the excess carrotage, my Grandma mentioned she would gladly take homemade carrot soup if I needed a quick use-up. Interesting... I had never made a carrot soup before, and the only kinds I knew were thich purees that had either curry or gratuitous amounts of heavy cream in them. Hmm... light curry flavours are good things in this household, heavy cream, not so much so. A scout through one of my mom's old cookbooks - Soups and Starters - gave me my jumping-off point with a basic recipe and I was on my way. I did add a touch of curry, cinnamon and some fresh ginger instead of the rosemary in the book, simply because it was what I was after in the dish. Luckily the book reminded me of the thickening properties in starchy baking potatoes, and since I already had my food processor out and shredding carrots, I tossed in a leftover raw potato from our bin and added it to the mixture. Instead of cream, a mix of skim milk powder and vegetable broth did the job, allowing the soup to become creamy (in conjunction with the potato) without adding an overly heavy texture or flavour.

My benchmark taste tester - my mom (who is coincidentally celebrating her first wedding anniversarry today!) - give this two thumbs up, and stole accepted half the batch to take for lunch this week to work. She likes the subtle curry flavour that accents the sweet, fresh carrots, not to mention the fact that its a hearty meal with few calories and very little fat that can keep her warm in the overly air conditioned office!
This bright orange soup is delicious, for sure, and it also is very heart healthy, low in fat and cholesterol - not to mention 410% of the RDA for beta carotene in a bowl... so Im sending this to the Heart of the Matter event this go-around. Enjoy the first day of Fall with some home-cooked comfort!

Curried Carrot - Ginger Soup
Serves 4
5 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup skim milk powder
650 g carrots, grated
1 baking potato, grated
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Combine broth and milk powder in a stockpot, whisking smooth.
  2. Add carrots, potato and spices, bring soup to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve immediately or cool and freeze.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 184.3
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 1.4 mg
Sodium: 1,562.5 mg
Total Carbs: 39.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.2 g
Protein: 6.0 g

3 comments :

Bellini Valli said...

I am sure my eye sight will have improved after eating bowls and bowls of this:D

ttfn300 said...

Delish, I need to start experimenting with curry powder... bummer about the purple-turns-grey upon cooking :(

Dana McCauley said...

I love fresh carrots! I've been preparing them a la Heston Blumenthal lately by braising them in a covered pan with some butter and s&p. Brilliant results. So carroty. Is that a word?