Hi everybody! I am finally back from an adventure- I just got home yesterday from my first-ever trip to California, San Francisco specifically. It was so much fun to go on a real, non-work- or family-related vacation- especially before Autumn sets in and we’re all out of sun here in the Northeast!
Now, I have no idea what it is about vacation that makes me feel it’s acceptable to constantly stuff my face with food every 10 minutes, but I do believe I’ve suffered irreparable stomach expansion and a serious case of the need-new-pants-because-none-of-mine-fit-now-itis.
The great thing about San Francisco is, every restaurant you go to is virtually guaranteed to have something delicious in store (EXCEPT the $5.99 all you can eat dim sum place in Chinatown, ehhhh….)- which really makes it dang hard to turn anything down!
Anyways, I am here today to talk to you about this roasted carrot soup. You may recall my office has a monthly Iron Chef competition, where we pick a secret ingredient and all bring in different dishes on a predetermined day, and judge based on best dish and most creative use of ingredient. Well, this month’s ingredient was ginger- and boy was I stumped.
It’s not that I don’t like ginger- my problem was that I had a lot of trouble deciding what to make! Between the traditional ginger snap, the venerable thai curries, or even homemade soda, there were a lot of ways to go with this ingredient, and I was in it to win it, dangit!
I finally decided on this surprisingly simple carrot soup- again, found from my favorite food site, food52. As you can tell there are only a few ingredients here, so it’s important to make sure that they are high quality!
Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger
- 6 to 8 large carrots (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cups vegetable stock (good quality, not too high in sodium)
- 2 pieces of ginger, about an inch long each, peeled
- 1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
1) Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. Broil the carrots until they brown and soften, turning them over with a spatula every 5 minutes or so; this should take 15 to 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil, add the ginger and the sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3) Put the onion in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Brown the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and then add the carrots.
4) Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
5) Use an immersion or a standard blender to puree the mixture until smooth. With a grater, grate in around a tablespoon of fresh ginger, to taste. If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish with chopped fresh thyme.
I am proud to say this dish won this month’s competition! I served it alongside some toasted baguette slices slathered with a whipped ginger-thyme butter (made in the food processor, quick as a bunny).
And another cool benefit of this dish: It’s 100% vegetarian!