Generally I can take or leave carrots. They are always the last veggie I'd grab on a dip platter, and I really do not like them as big chunks in a salad. However, over the last few years I've started embracing them - but only if they are fresh, sweet and actually have taste (like any veg really). I enjoy them shredded (very important step) in a salad, roasted in my veggie bowls AND blended in soups. I think my distaste for them likely stemmed from the little rounded baby carrots you get in a bag, that taste of nothing and are often dried out. Skip those! And opt for fresh farmers market ones, you'll never go back.
What I like about carrots in soups is they add a nice subtle sweetness; especially good if you find sweet taters a little too sweet in soups. Not to mention they are packed full of beta-carotene, which is an anti-oxidant and also a precursor to vitamin A, which helps with healthy skin (yay!), eye sight and our immune system. So if you're like me, and perhaps need a little motivation to embrace carrots, this is a great recipe for you. It has a nice bright zesty flavour to it ~ the key here is the lime juice, so do not skip it.
Quick to pull together, your looking about about 10 mins prep and 30 minutes cooking time. I've said it serves 4 as a starter. I make it for 2 as a dinner with a portion or 2 left over for lunch.
* serves 4 as a starter, 2-3 bigger portions
5 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 stalk lemon grass
1 large knob ginger, about 3", chopped
5 cilantro stalks (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 lime, zest of & juice
1 tbs garlic chili sauce, (sambal oelek)
1 box chicken broth, 900ml
1/2 can coconut milk
salt & pepper
Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and saute on medium for about 10 mins until soft, add garlic and fry for a few minutes more. Bash the lemongrass with the back of a knife to "activate" it. Then add lemongrass, carrots, lime zest, cilantro stalks, sambal oelek and ginger. Stir to combine and add the chicken broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalks and blend soup until smooth. You can add more broth, or water if it's a bit thick. Add lime juice and adjust seasoning and spice levels. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve. I like to add a bit of sambal oelek and a sprinkle of fried garlic to each bowl when serving.