I’ve always found carrot soups to be rather unsexy. I think my experiences had involved slightly chunky, thick, and earthy soups that I just wished were made of butternut squash instead. Those bad soups motivated me to create this, one of the sexiest soups I know. Peeled and roasted, carrots blend to a smooth puree, and all that ginger and lime heats and cools at the same time in the most wonderful way.
A few notes on the preparation of this one: There is a lot of ginger in this soup, and you want every bit of it. That being said, grating all that ginger is a bit of a chore. It’s easier if you have a small ceramic grater (see this page) and work with a large chunk at once so you have a good handle. Just be patient. Also, this soup is garnished with curry leaves in coconut oil. Curry leaves are not related to curry powder, but they do grow on the curry tree and are used in Indian cooking. They have a unique and wonderful flavor, and there’s really no substitute. Buy them fresh at an Indian grocer or in a supermarket with a good produce department, and simply put the leftover fresh leaves right into the freezer in a freezer bag. When you’re set to use them, just put the leaves you need on the counter for a few minutes to soften, then they’re ready. If you can’t find them, just use plain coconut oil.
- Yield: 2 Quarts
- 1 medium onion (8 ounces), cut into wedges
- 2 pounds carrots (about 8 large carrots), peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed or safflower
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 15 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 13.6 ounce can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons grated unpeeled fresh ginger (about 5 inches)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (1 lime)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the onion, carrots, oil, and salt together in a large bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the carrots are tender and the onion is golden, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the curry coconut oil. Roll the curry leaves up in a log and grate them into small flakes with a Microplane. You won’t get all of the leaf in there it’s okay if there’s a nub left. Heat the coconut oil in a small skillet set over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the curry leaf flakes. Set aside.
- Combine the roasted carrots and onion, stock, coconut milk, ginger, and lime juice in a blender. Blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes in a regular blender or 45 seconds in a high-speed blender. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Transfer to a saucepan to reheat on the stove. Ladle into bowls, and use a spoon to drizzle the curry-leaf coconut oil over each bowl, taking care to include some leaf flakes.