Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Carrot, ginger and peanut soup
Summer is without doubt my most favorite time of the year and I know that even though its still spring here in North Carolina, its been feeling kind of like summer already. Other than the warm weather, there is much to love here. Open air farmers markets, tons of fresh produce, outdoor meals and drinks on the patio. All in all it just makes me feel like good times are in store.
Summer is also a great time to start being more of a 'locavore'. There is an abundance of fresh produce in the various farmers markets around the area and they provide a great opportunity to try stuff you might have never tried before. Eating locally and eating seasonally will almost always guarantee that you are eating well. If you are in the Triangle area and are looking for a farmers market close to you, here is a list that might help.
- State Farmers Market
- North Raleigh Farmers market
- Midtown Farmers Market at North Hills
- Five Points Community Farmers Market
- Durham Farmers Market
- Cary Farmers Market
Summer here though does get quite hot so my focus this season will be on recipes that require none or very little "on the stove" time. I am also hoping to experiment with some cold soup recipes, mainly because I like soups way too much to relegate them only for cold weather. This recipe here is one step in that direction though it does taste just as good when served hot. This recipe like quite a few here was inspired by a recipe for carrot and ginger soup that I saw in the latest issue of the Bon Appetit magazine. The original recipe was served with a chile butter and topped with peanuts. I omitted the chile butter and gave it a little bit of an Asian twist by adding some peanut butter, mixed with honey and red chili flakes. If you are not a big peanut fan, I think using almond butter would work just as well. The result is a smooth and velvetty textured soup with just a hint of sweetness and spice. Topped with some fresh cilantro and accompanied with toast and salad, it makes the perfect summer meal.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 potato, diced
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 teaspoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt (or lesser depending on the salt in the vegetable broth)
- In a heavy bottom stock pot, heat olive oil. Add chopped onion, minced ginger, diced potatoes and carrots.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and saute for about ten minutes or until they are slightly softened but not browned.
- Add the broth and water, bring to a boil and cook covered for about 20 minutes or till the vegetables are cooked through.
- Cool slightly, then puree in batches. Return blended soup to the stock pot.
- Whisk peanut butter and honey with the red pepper flakes. Add to the soup and stir well, avoiding any lumps to form with the peanut butter.
- Bring to a simmer and get off the heat. Serve warm or cold topped with chopped cilanto and toasted peanuts.
Makes 6 side servings.