If I had to select one vegetable that is popular with both young palates and more experienced eaters, it would have to be carrots. Everyone loves to crunch on the sweet, snappy carrot. Closely related to parsley and fennel, carrots contribute a sweet, rich character to soups, stocks and marinades.
In the late spring, when the first tiny carrots arrive at the market from local farms, they are delicious all by themselves, steamed and buttered. No need to peel them, just scrub these slender, tapered orange beauties and enjoy them with your favorite dip, or as part of an antipasto plate.
For over 2000 years, carrots have been renowned for their health-giving properties and high Vitamin A content. They are also a good source of potassium, virtually fat free, and high in soluble fiber. In fact, carrots could be considered the original health food. Again and again, carrots turn up in studies as major disease fighters; reducing the risk of stroke, as a top cancer-fighting food, and lowering the cholesterol level in the body.
Carrots also are an excellent root storage crop and available to eat here in Maine all year long.
I adapted the recipe for Carrot Coconut Soup with Fresh Ginger from the Williams-Sonoma catalog on the page marketing the Vitamix Blender. In their recipe, the Vitamix is used to cook the soup. A novel idea, but not all households have the luxury of this type of equipment. In this adaptation, the soup is easy to prepare, stores well in the refrigerator, and is delightfully delicious. I served it as a prelude to an elegant lunch, and as a quick, nutritious supper.
Roasted, steamed, sautéed, and pureed; carrots are a wonder in kitchen. Bugs Bunny and all his rabbit friends are right; carrots are the best!
CARROT COCONUT SOUP WITH FRESH GINGER
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped about 1 cup
- 4 large carrots peeled & chopped, about 4 cups
- 1 – 3 inch piece ginger peeled & thinly sliced
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 14 ounce can coconut milk *
- Sea salt and fresh pepper
- Greek yogurt for serving
- Chopped fresh chives for serving
- In a heavy soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions until soft. Add the carrots, sliced ginger and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender.
- Stir in the coconut milk. In the bowl of your blender or food processor, puree in small batches until smooth. Return to the pot and season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.
- To serve, ladle into soup plates. Top each bowl with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle with chopped, fresh chives.