Friday, January 13, 2012

Cleansing Ginger Carrot Leek Soup

1 Gallon Homemade Veggie Broth
When the sun sets at 4:30 and the temps hover around freezing, sometimes the only way warm up is with a big bowl of soup and a mug of tea. I improvise soup recipes all the time with what I have on hand and whipped up this easy pot of carrot soup with ginger and leeks a couple weeks ago. I froze leftovers and have been enjoying it for lunch this week. Carrots are a great cold storage crop, so if you're lucky enough to have a winter farmers market in your town, you might still be able to find local carrots.

Ingredients:
1 lb carrots
1 pt cashew cream (recipe here)
3 leeks, white and light green parts only
2 in Ginger Root
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

This is a blended soup, so you don't have to worry about chopping carrots and leeks into pretty uniform pieces (time-saver!). Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and into thirds across. Rinse well under cold running water to remove any sand that might be hiding between the layers. 
Leeks fight cancer, lower cholesterol, rid the body of uric acid, stabilize blood sugar, & provide iron, folate, & Vitamin C.
Great source of heart-healthy oleic acid!
Clean or peel your carrots. I chopped the carrots in the vitamix (you could use a food processor or rough chop by hand) to speed up the cooking, but you could just throw them in whole if you don't want to prep but have more time for cooking.  

Put your broth in a large pot over high heat. Add the carrots and the leeks and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and add the cashew cream and ginger. 

I used some young ginger that I had stored in the freezer. You don't have to peel young ginger, so I just chopped it into a few smaller pieces and threw it in. Simmer over medium-low heat for at least 20 minutes. I love to let soups like this simmer all afternoon to let the flavors really deepen, but this soup will be cooked in less than 30 minutes if you start with chopped carrots. If you throw your carrots in whole, just be sure to cook until the carrots are tender. 


Ginger reduces inflammation and relieves uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.
Now it's time to blend. You can use an immersion blender or work in batches in an upright blender. Just be sure to cover the top of the blender with a kitchen towel and hold the lid on, since hot liquids can explode.
Looks healthy and delicious, doesn't it?!
Serve with a garnish of freshly grated nutmeg and transfer leftovers into pint sized mason jars for lunches. The wide-mouth pint sized ball jars are freezer safe and are perfect for just about everything!

My favorite thing about soup (other than how nutritious and delicious it can be) is how well it keeps for leftovers. Most soup recipes (this one included), actually taste better after a day or two in the fridge and many of them freeze well. I love to store my leftover soup in pint-size wide-mouth ball jars. They freeze and transport well and offer the ultimate home-cooked lunch convenience. A pint of this soup is really satisfying and if it's not enough to fill you up for lunch, just take along a salad or some veggies with hummus to round out a healthy meal. 

Eat more soup (they're all vegan and delicious!):