Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook
As the story goes, there are always challenges on a farm. When you come to know a farm, you are part of the joys and struggles. Loosing an animal is one of the most traumatic events as it certainly was heartbreaking for me to learn that my best goat buddy, Alphy (at Great Kids Farm) has passed on to the goat fields in the sky. He had a great life though, even as old age got to him. He wasn’t the average goat, not only because he was named after proving to be the Apha male to the other five goats, but he also was definitely a PR (public relations) kind of guy with a discerning palate for vegetables-especially carrots. If that’s not unusual enough, he also would sit next to you and listen to your stories.
My Exotic Carrot Soup it is a tribute to Aphy and his enthusiasm for this tapered orange root. The phrase to go along: carrots will promote cooperation over the environment far more effectively than sticks.Yes carrots were also used for persuasion when the goat guys ‘flew the coop’ and had to be reigned in!
Exotic Carrot Soup
If possible get fresh carrots just plucked from the ground from a local farmer. Their color and texture are enhanced in this soup by the butternut squash (or sweet potato) which are available through the winter months. Though the carrots themselves are naturally sweet, pears balance the heat of the ginger. Make a point of slowly sautéing the carrots and onions to caramelize them and release the natural sugars.
Originally inspired by Spa Cuisine, I’ve adapted the soup to be exotic with the coconut milk added. No kidding, it’s irresistable.
I made my stock simply from lots of fresh ginger & bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 small white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 tablespoons peeled, minced fresh ginger, divided
- 1 cup peeled, cubed butternut squash or sweet potato
- 2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced
- 4 1/2 cups Rita’s simple stock, basic vegetable stock or water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 12-ounce can coconut milk
- plain yogurt or sour cream and fresh herb sprigs or sliced chives
In a 2-quart stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the carrots and onion, and cook for several minutes, stirring often, until softened. Add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, squash, and the pear sauté for 2 minutes
Add the stock and salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
In a blender or in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Add the coconut milk and remaining ginger. Adjust the salt to taste. Reheat before serving.
Serve the soup very hot in warmed soup bowls for the cold months or chilled for the summer season. Add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh herbs for the garnish.
※ Set off the soup’s vibrant color with a combination of green onion tops and fresh herbs. We used sage fanned out to make a statement.
※ Chickpea, Tomato and Swiss chard Bruschetta was the perfect crunchy accompaniment or toast whole-wheat bread, cut into croutons, and float a few in each bowl.