Confession: I kind of have a love/hate relationship with soup. I want to like it, I really do. And sometimes I do love it especially if you consider chili a soup, which it kind of is, right? For some reason, I am always disappointed when I order soup. It’s either too salty or doused with cream. Or it just needs something. And the stuff in the can? I don’t even want to guess what is in there. No thank you.
I think it all started in the eighth grade when for six very, very long weeks, I had my mouth wired shut. Yep you read that right. I had jaw surgery during middle school, and if that wasn’t torturous enough, I could only eat—excuse me, drink—liquids for six weeks. I survived on Cran-apple juice, milkshakes, and any sort of soup concoction that my mom put in a blender and packed in my lunch. I tried everything; spinach soup, potato soup, tomato soup, broccoli soup. You name it, I attempted to eat it in liquid form. It was rough, and I still can’t really drink cran-apple juice. And in all honesty, I am still shocked that I turned out “normal.” Thankfully, my parents sent me to an all-girls school. Boys would have been just brutal.
So, I guess I have quite the history with soup which probably explains my attitude toward it. But it’s still winter in Virginia and unbearably cold (though we are set to hit 55 degrees this weekend—the best Valentine’s present EVER). And you are supposed to eat soup in the winter; I mean that is what everyone does to stay warm, right? So, I decided to give it another shot with something spicy and flavorful. I also had a bag of carrots in the refrigerator, which was the real reason behind the carrot soup choice. And guess what? It was pretty freaking delicious. Maybe, just maybe, I’m cured. Baby steps.
Indian Spiced Carrot Ginger Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2008
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or any other oil in your pantry; I used grapeseed)
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 pound carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds
5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
2 teaspoons lime juice
Garnish: Plain or Greek yogurt
Heat a small dry skillet over medium heat. Toast coriander and mustard seeds in skillet until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Place toasted spices in a spice mill and grind to a fine powder. Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground seeds, curry powder, and cayenne pepper, stir for 1 minute. Add ginger, stir another minute.
Add chopped onions and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick. Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with Greek or plain yogurt and mint. Enjoy!