Carrot-Ginger Soup

Not only do I have a terrible habit of sneaking into my presents before Christmas morning, but I also like to steal little tastes of the Christmas meal while I'm cooking it. We won't be opening gifts or eating the holiday meal for quite some time, but I've already had a cup of this soup and it was so good, I put holiday prep on hold to share it with you!

This soup is inspired by a meal I had last month at Printworks Bistro here in Greensboro. The meal - it was Thanksgiving dinner to be exact! - started with a bowl of bright and spicy Carrot-Ginger Soup garnished with candied ginger and chopped cashews.

The rest of the meal was excellent, but that soup! It was the star of the meal for me and I've been craving it ever since.  

Christmas dinner seemed like a good excuse to make my first batch, and I'm borrowing a page from Printworks' playbook and serving it as an appetizer, too.

It's going to make an appearance outside the holidays for sure! I just love starting holiday meals with a vegetable-based soup like this! It fills you up with nutrient-dense goodness, making you less likely to overindulge on the richer dishes later in the meal.


Serves 4 - Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

INGREDIENTS

1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, diced

1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4" pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced

2" piece fresh ginger, peeled

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 tsp. kosher salt + 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

4-5 c. reduced-sodium chicken stock 

DIRECTIONS

1. Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add butter. When melted, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. (NOTE: You do not want the onion to take on any color.) Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots and season with salt, stirring to coat the carrots well with the butter. 

2. Add 2 cups of stock to the pot, enough to cover the carrots. (Add more stock if needed.) Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cover, simmering for 20 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat.

3. Using a ladle, transfer vegetables and stock to a Vitamix or food processor. Puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Transfer soup to a large saucepan over medium-low heat. 

4. Whisk in remaining stock and add minced ginger and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Ladle into mugs or bowls and serve hot. Garnish with chopped chives, chopped cashews, or finely minced candied ginger. 

Per Serving (1/4th of recipe): 145 calories, 7 g fat, 17 g carbs (4 g fiber), 7 g protein

COOK'S NOTE: Soup reduces in volume and thickens as it simmers, concentrating the flavors. Season your soup at the end of cooking to avoid an overly-seasoned pot of soup!