As we settle into the new year, with a few months of winter still stretching out ahead of us, many of us are feeling a sense of relief … and a need to spend a little less time in the kitchen. After all, most of those big seasonal cooking projects are behind us; there are no more giant turkeys to roast, no multiday cooking projects left to plan and organize. Now, we turn our focus to simpler, but still satisfying, dishes that we can whip up quickly and that will feed us through the cooler months, even as the days slowly stretch out and the sun lingers in the sky for a few extra, precious minutes each day.
You probably already have a few leftover carrots in your refrigerator right now. But often, they are relegated to “add-on” status; to add sweetness to a tomato sauce, for example, or as a raft for roasting meats, when you just can’t face cleaning the roasting pan rack even one more time. Our recipe elevates carrots to center-stage, making them the star of a silky, bright and colorful soup that’s as good for you as it is delicious.
Carrots contain high levels of beta and alpha-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A. In fact, just one fresh carrot provides over 200% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A, which helps keep eyes healthy, as well as contributing to overall immune function and the maintenance of healthy cells. Carrots are also rich in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, including high levels of luteolin, which has been shown to have anti-cancer effects in some studies, and falcarinol, which is also being studied for its potential as a cancer fighter.
But the potential benefits of this superfood soup don’t stop there. We also spike our soup with plenty of fresh ginger, which has been used for thousands of years in China, Japan and India as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and to help combat nausea.
Carrot Ginger Soup With Turmeric
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Sour cream, to taste (optional)
- Crème fraiche, to taste (optional)
- Coconut milk, to taste (optional)
In a saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add yellow onion and cook until soft and translucent; about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and cook one minute more. Add carrots, vegetable stock, turmeric, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until onions are tender; about ten minutes. Working in batches, transfer hot soup to blender, and pulse to desired consistency or use an immersion blender to process soup until smooth. Swirl in fresh lemon juice, and serve with a dollop of sour cream, crème fraiche or coconut milk, if desired.