Puréed soup rules. Nutritiously speaking, it is basically a cooked smoothie (so easier to digest) that can include the Allium family of veggies (onion, garlic etc) without freaking anyone out. There are definitely benefits to a raw, green smoothie that you don’t get from a cooked bowl of soup, but this soup definitely has its own thing going on that a green smoothie can’t touch.
Soup makes the perfect food for fall and winter. Look at every ingredient on the list for this recipe. Each one is something you have probably thought about eating more of while perhaps reaching for something more convenient instead. Whipping these ingredients up into this bright orange soup turns them into the healthiest and most convenient of convenience food.
Humble carrots are pretty amazing vegetables. Despite being high in carbs, they help to stabilize blood sugar (a good anti-cancer move), relieve gas, help metabolize calcium and are full of potassium. The orange ones are a rich source of beta-carotene (the vitamin A precursor) especially once cooked. Try to find organic ones so that you don’t have to peel them. That peel contains a concentration of the nutrients as well as lots of flavour. Bonus points for using carrots that come attached to the greens (the greens are also edible and full of nutrients, juice them!) because, like beets, it will determine how fresh they are.
Beyond the carrots, there is turmeric (not enough to really taste it, just enough to anti-inflammate some of that inflammation) (and if you like the taste, by all means add more!), kombu (lots of minerals and such a good undertone of rich umami flavour), Alliums (garlic, onion, leek –cancer hates them all) and some coconut milk, whose fat helps to lower the glycemic load of the recipe and makes the nutrients easier for your body to absorb. It also has a naturally sweet vibe that goes really well with the carrots. Use a bpa can of full fat coconut milk or make your own coconut milk here, or even coconut cashew milk here.
Around here, we lean towards water instead of stock for the base of the soup. The reason is, store-bought veggie stocks don’t tend to be very high quality or taste that good, and although we have a great recipe on here, we don’t want the making of the stock step to stop you from making the soup. Instead, we always include plenty of aromatic veggies, including some mineral-rich, deeply umami sea vegetables (usually kombu). Think of the sea veggies as the bones in a bone broth. No stock required.
Let’s talk about the jalapeños for a sec. The flavour of the chile is what we’re looking for here, plus some background heat. They are warming, contain antioxidants, stimulate digestion, help treat colds, diminish swelling and offer protection from certain chemical carcinogens. Despite this, if you don’t respond well to nightshades or if you have an inflammatory bowel (or cancer in that area), this soup tastes really good without too (or fresh ginger would make a great substitute).
Jalapeños vary greatly in heat, so make sure you taste them before you add them to the soup so that you know what you’re dealing with. If they’re super spicy remove the seeds so that you can add more, for flavour (otherwise it will get too hot before you can add enough to make a flavour difference).
I feel like this has been a really nutrition-lecture-y post. It’s just that the health stats are exciting considering how easy this soup is to make, how simple the ingredient list is and how truly comforting and delicious it is. So if you need to, ignore everything above and just know you’re putting in a bit of time now for warm orange hugs (for yourself or someone who needs them) for the rest of the week.
PS -See the whole-grain soda bread in this picture? Recipe coming soon!
- 2 tsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Carrots, unpeeled (if organic), roughly chopped
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 1 small Leek (or half of a big one), sliced (and rinsed if dirty)
- 4-6 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2-3 Sheets of Kombu
- 1 tsp dried Turmeric (2 tsp if using fresh)
- 1-6 Jalapeños (depending on how spicy they are), de-seeded if spicy and sliced (these are optional, you can also leave them out or replace with 2-3 Tbsp of fresh ginger, minced)
- 2 c Coconut Milk (one can if using canned)
- 6 c Water
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- Lots of fresh Black Pepper (to enhance turmeric absorption)
- In a pot, on medium/low heat, melt the coconut oil with a splash of water and sauté the carrots, onion, leek and garlic until the veggies soften.
- Add the turmeric and continue to sauté for another minute or so.
- Add the coconut milk, water and kombu and bring to a boil, lowering the heat to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, You should be able to break the carrots in half with a wooden spoon.
- Add the jalapeños (start with a little bit, taste as you go, you can always add more) and (carefully) blend in small batches in a blender. I recommend you wait until it cools before you do this, or use an immersion/stick blender.
- Add the full strips of kombu into the bowl with the blended soup so that it will continue to steep its minerals and flavour into the soup.
- Whisk up the soup and adjust with sea(weed) salt and pepper if needed.
- If it needs more jalapeño, add some soup back into the blender and blend with more jalapeño.
- Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to five days (it also freezes very well).