Fall is in the air! Do you agree? That crisp breeze that gently blows through the trees causing the leaves to rustle and gently fall to the ground. The lower angle of the sun. Sweaters and wool socks beckoning you from the depths of your closet. Slippers! (I <3 slippers!). And SOUP!
For me, soup = love. Basic ingredients are lovingly prepared, sautéed and simmered to create the ultimate comfort food. I often spend an entire afternoon preparing a batch of soup because it makes me feel good.
But, today, I was in a hurry. I arrived home mid-afternoon from a wonderful road trip with Mary (stay tuned for all the details!), and I needed to get dinner ready before Toby had to leave for work. So, I quickly peeled and cut up the carrots and got them simmering while I diced the onions and measured out the seasonings. Within an hour we were enjoying a bowl of luscious, creamy, slightly spicy Ginger Carrot Soup.
I got this recipe from my friend, Jeanne, who lovingly prepared it for our book group last fall. The fun secret of this soup is that it is thickened with toasted cashews. I didn’t puree mine thoroughly because we enjoy the little crunch of the nuts in the velvety smooth soup. If you wanted to, you could even leave the carrots in larger chunks. Either way, I’m sure you’ll agree that this soup tastes like a lot of love went into it (and you’ll have plenty of “love” left-over to share with family and friends!).
- 2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 5 cups water or chicken stock
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1½ cups onion, chopped
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- 1 cup cashews
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream, optional
- sour cream, for garnish
- Place the carrots and water/broth into a medium-sized soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet.
- Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, nutmeg, cumin, and salt to the onions.
- Pour the onion mixture into the carrots, add the cashews (reserving a few for garnish) and stir well.
- Using a stick blender, gently puree the entire batch. Alternatively, carefully blend 2 cups at a time in a conventional blender until smooth.
- To serve, pour into bowls and top with a tablespoon of sour cream and a few toasted cashews.