Skip to recipe for spicy carrot and ginger soup
Is it just me, or is it suddenly the dead of winter in Toronto. What’s with that? I feel like I was wearing flip-flops two weeks ago. Anyways, this cold weather hits the city like a premature polar vortex, and so instantly all I want to do is make, drink, and bathe in steaming hot soup to try to warm myself up. So, I go to the grocery store dreaming up the creamy, velvety butternut squash soup I’m going to make, only to find that everyone else in the city must have had the same idea… the butternut squash was sold out! Luckily, everyone around me was bundled in their own little parka/hat/scarf cocoons so I don’t think anyone heard the big “WTF” I let out after discovering this extremely upsetting news.
With my heart still longing for smooth, warming soup, I decide instead to branch off and try something I’ve never done- carrot soup. Though I was pretty ticked off about having to change my plans, I’ve got to say, this has one of my favourite recipes I’ve made this year. You might be thinking, “how exciting can a carrot soup possibly be,” but I actually think the humble carrot stands up to some pretty bold flavours, almost even better than a mild squash does!
I’ve now made this dish several times in the last few days just perfecting the proportions and I think I’ve nailed it. Not only is it dead simple to make (no peeling, cutting and roasting squash!), but the flavour is tremendous, and the colour is out of this world! For extra flavour and colour, I add parsnips and apple. Ginger and honey also go in there because they just go so well with carrot. But what really sets this soup apart is the heat from the curry spices, perfectly balanced with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt to cool it down. This recipe is easy to double up on, so you can make ahead and and easily reheat it for a quick weeknight meal.
This carrot soup alone is so healthy, but because I’m addicted to biscuits these days, I just had to whip up a quick batch of my parmesan thyme biscuits to mop up all that hot soup. Perhaps this was not the best decision for my waistline, but I regret nothing. These cheesy, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside biscuits were worth every bite. Get the recipe here!
On days like these, when it kind of feels like the sun might never shine again and I might never warm up, there is little else as comforting and warming as a steaming bowl of fragrant soup. Make a big batch ahead so that you can cuddle up with this spicy carrot soup and a Netflix show for a relaxed weeknight meal.
And just mark my words- the butternut squash is so passé. This winter, it’s all about the humble carrot.
Spicy Carrot and Ginger Soup
This healthy carrot soup is just as flavourful as it is colourful! This is a great dish to make in a big quantity to keep in your fridge and reheat to warm you on those chilly fall evenings.
- 1 sweet large onion, diced about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 large garlic cloves (or 3 small), chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped or grated
- 2 tsp Garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 5 big carrots, peeled, diced into 1 inch chunks
- 3 big parsnips (or four skinnier ones), peeled, diced into 1 inch chunks
- 1 courtland apple, peeled and chopped (Fuji or McIntosh also works)
- 6-7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds (or any toasted seeds or nuts you have)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 handful of chopped fresh herbs (cilantro or chives)
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook down for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to turn translucent. Add ginger and garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a small dry pan over medium heat. Add the Garam masala, cumin and nutmeg and toast until fragrant and just starting to slightly change colour (about 3 minutes).
Add the spices, carrot, and parsnip to the onion mixture and let sautee for another 5 minutes. Add the apple and 1 tsp of salt and pepper, and mix well. Pour in about 6 cups of stock (just over one carton), add the thyme sprigs and honey, bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender. Taste the stock and adjust seasoning accordingly.
In the meantime, prepare the garnish. In the same pan used for toasting the spices, toast the almonds over medium heat for about 3 minutes (watch carefully!). Chop the desired fresh herb.
With a hand blender or immersion blender, blend the soup (in batches if needed) until smooth. Add more stock if needed, or if a thinner consistency is desired. Once blended, serve the soup and garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, toasted sunflower seeds, and herbs. Enjoy!
*For vegetarian, substitute the chicken stock for veggie stock!
**Skip the Greek yogurt if you're vegan or lactose free, and add in a 1/2 cup of lactose free milk right before blending if you're looking for a creamy element