Monday, February 11, 2013


Love is in the air.  Can you feel it?  I sure can.  I’ve been feeling especially mushy the last couple of days; like gushy, mushy.  

It could be because Billy had been on an eight day road trip and I was so looking forward to him getting home.  He got home in the wee hours Sunday morning, just in time for my birthday.  

Hey…It’s my birthday, and I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday!  Sorry about that; it’s not even my birthday any more, it was yesterday, but you can sing it on your birthday.

It could be because I saw Andrea Bocelli in concert on Friday night.  Seriously, I don’t have a clue what the words mean, but he moves me to tears.  Like, I was totally a blubbering fool.

It could be because there was a match made in heaven, right in my kitchen.  What’s that?  Yes, Carrot and Ginger were unified, married, joined together as one (by joined I mean blended of course) into the most glorious concoction known to man…Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup.

On their own carrot and ginger are quite nice, but bring them together with a little coconut milk and the result is something sweet and creamy.  Drizzle a little Cilantro Chili Oil over the top for some freshness and a little heat (ooh is it getting hot in here?).  Pile up some crispy fried onions in the middle of the bowl.  Why that’s just sassy?  This is one romantic soup!

Here’s how you make all that romance happen.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

There's no need to peel the carrots, just wash and scrub them.  Cut them into equally sized pieces; about 1 1/2 inches.  You need a couple of garlic cloves, don't peel those either.  Toss it all with a little canola oil and season with salt and pepper.  If you don't want to make the Cilantro Chili Oil, you may wish to sprinkle a pinch of cayenne on the carrots too.
Lay it all out in a single layer.  See those Serrano peppers, forget about them, that was a mistake.  Roast the carrots and garlic for 35 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile; you're gonna need a can of coconut milk, lite coconut milk would be fine as well.

Make the broth by adding to a 3 quart sauce pan; the coconut milk, water, some rounds of fresh ginger and a little salt.  Heat this over medium heat; until it's steaming hot, but not boiling.  Turn the heat down to low and cook until the carrots are done.
Roasting the carrots just intensifies their flavor, while the garlic mellows out a little.  When the carrots are done they will be fork tender, and slightly caramelized.

Add half of the carrots and one of the garlic cloves to a blender.

Remove the ginger from the broth, but don't discard it.  Add half of the broth...
...And one of the ginger rounds to the blender with the carrots.

When adding hot food to the blender, one should always remove the plug that is in the lid.

Put the lid on, and hold a towel over the hole.  Blitz until smooth.

Sometimes ginger is strong, and sometimes it's not so you'll have to give it a taste, if you like more ginger, add another round and blend some more.  Empty this to a bowl; and repeat with the remaining carrots, garlic, broth, and a ginger round. 

My soup was too thick, so I added a little more water and put this back on the stove just to heat.
So the soup tastes really great just like this.
But Cilantro Chili Oil isn't just pretty, it also brings a little heat and freshness to the party.  It's a really good idea to make the oil before you start the soup, so that the flavors will marry.

Your gonna need some cilantro, and some chopped Serrano chili peppers.  I started with one pepper, but found that the oil really needed two.
Add the cilantro, Serranos and the canola oil to a blender or a mini food processor.  Give it a blitz until it's smooth.  Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes, though an hour is better.

I have a really fine mesh strainer that I put the oil through.  If you don't have a strainer this fine, put a coffee filter in your strainer.

See what a bright and pretty green the oil is.  This will keep for a few days in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

The green color pops off of the orange.  You could stop here...

But why would you?  I get these fried onions at Ikea.  They're more delicate than French's.  If you didn't have these, shallots dredged in a little flour and then fried would do the trick.

Romantic, Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup!  I can't be held responsible for what will happen after eating this deliciousness.


Serves 4
1              lb.          Carrots, washed, no need to peel, and cut into about 1 inch pieces
2              cloves     Garlic, unpeeled and left whole
1              Tbsp.       Canola oil
¼             tsp.        Pepper
1 -13.5       oz. can    Coconut milk
3              cups       Water
1              inch        Fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced thinly into rounds

  1.        Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.       Lay the carrots and the unpeeled garlic cloves in a single layer on a sheet pan; toss with canola oil, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Roast for 35 to 45 minutes; until the carrots have some caramelization, and are fork tender.
  3.       Meanwhile, in a 3 quart sauce pan combine the coconut milk, water, ginger and ¼ tsp. salt.  Cook over medium heat until the liquid is steaming, do not boil, and then turn the heat to low to gently cook just until the carrots are cooked.
  4.       When the carrots are through roasting, remove the garlic from its peel.
  5.   Remove the ginger from the broth; do not discard.  
  6.       Add half of the carrots to a blender along with half of the liquid, one of the garlic cloves, and one of the ginger rounds.  Remove the plug from the lid of the blender.  Place the lid on with a towel over the whole.  Pulse until the ingredients are smooth.  Give it a taste; if you like add more ginger.
  7.       Remove the soup to a bowl, and repeat with the other half of the remaining ingredients.
  8.       Return the soup to the pan.  If the soup is too thick, add a little more water until it’s the consistency you like.
  9.       Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  10.   If the soup is hot enough you may serve it immediately, or heat the soup over medium heat.
Garnish the soup with Cilantro Chili Oil, and fried onions or shallots.

*Note, if you don't want to make the Cilantro Chili Oil, you may wish to add a pinch of Cayenne pepper on to the carrots in step 2.

Cilantro Chili Oil
2                            Serrano peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
½             cup         Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3           cup         Canola oil

  1.        Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of a mini food processor or blender; and pulse until smooth.
  2.       Allow the ingredients to sit for at least 30 minutes, longer is better.
  3.       Pour the blended ingredients into a bowl, either through a very fine mesh strainer, or put a coffee filter into a strainer.

*The oil will keep for a few days in an air tight container, in the refrigerator.

View this recipe here.
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  1. This looks so delicious. I love the colors and I love that is has coconut milk in it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This looks so delicious! I had a lovely carrot curry soup on the weekend and now i want to try this recipe too.

  3. Hey Kari - Great recipe! Roasted vegetable soups are the are infused oils. And when it's all this simple, that's hard to beat!

  4. Yum! And love the fried onion addition to put it over the top. And I love love your green cabinets!

  5. This soup looks fantastic! I could go for a big bowl right now!

  6. Hi Kari, your comfort soup look so appetizing. Thank for sharing the delicious recipe.

    Have a great day ahead,regards.