With fall upon us I’m thinking about soups. Not heavy, hearty ones like we crave in the winter; but nutritious, simple bowls of soup. Sometimes an uncomplicated bowl of soup just fits the bill, perhaps with a crusty loaf of bread or a tossed green salad.
One of my go-to cookbooks carries the title “Williams-Sonoma Soup”. I could spend the better part of a day perusing the shelves in one of their stores and I find this cookbook to be equally engrossing. In the store I can dream of setting a beautiful, formal table, making and baking things my family might never eat, choosing colorful pots and pans which I do not need, and examining utensils seldom used in a kitchen, but oh, so appealing to me. Someday I may find the room to bring home all those rarely used items, for when I would need them, but for now let’s talk about soup.
I made delicious and healthy Carrot & Ginger soup while my adoring hubby was working in Las Vegas. He likes soup as much as I do and I saved a bowl full for him to enjoy after returning from his trip. I ate it on several occasions and carried some to my mom, mostly for the health benefits it provides. Did you know that carrots provide nutritional value through vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, and K? They are also a good source of iron, calcium, and fiber and they contain a lot of beta-carotene, which serves as an antioxidant. This yummy soup also contains fresh ginger. Ginger, you may know, aids in digestion and is often used to help with stomach problems, food poisoning, ulcers, nausea, etc. It’s also thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and to fight or prevent colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and migraine headaches. Sounds like we should incorporate ginger into many of our recipes. Here is a link to the site I like to go to for info on foods I’m eating: http://www.healthonlinezine.info/. I find the information useful but have noticed many typo’s in the text. If you can overlook that, which is hard for me to do, you might enjoy reading up on your favorite foods and why they are healthy for you.
I felt incredibly strong, energetic and satisfied each time I finished a bowl of this beautiful orange-colored soup. The color orange is my favorite and I confess just looking at this soup in a bowl made me smile. The ginger adds an exotic note of sweet spiciness, the fresh orange juice shares its citrusy goodness, and the orange zest simply enhances the brilliant color and orange flavor. I added a little cream to the recipe as I had some on hand. With or without cream this soup is sure to please. Carrot & Ginger Soup will become a regular menu item in The Orange Bee kitchen as it received kudos from all who tried it.
Carrot & Ginger Soup
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 leeks, including tender green parts, sliced thinly
6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red potato, peeled and diced
1 1/2 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and ground white pepper
orange slices for garnish
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, potato, and ginger and sauté until the vegetables are just softened, about 5 minutes longer.
Add the stock, cover partially, and simmer until the vegetables are completely softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a blender or food processor, purée the soup in batches, leaving some texture, and return the soup to the pan. Alternatively, process with a handheld blender in the pan until the desired consistency is reached. Return the soup to medium heat and stir in the orange juice, zest and cream. Stir to blend and add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a fresh orange slice.