Spring is a funny season in this part of northern California. Some days it’s a sunny, 80°F day and all you want is a salad, ice cream and white wine. The next week it’s grey, rainy, 45°F and ice cream has no place on your table. I find the in-between-ness of the season to be Mother Nature’s secret cooking challenge. In search of a meal that could be served hot or cold, depending on what the thermometer reads, this carrot ginger soup is still my default.
Carrots are available year round, whether an inexpensive 5 pound bag or by the bunch with the tops still on. On colder days, I like to serve the soup hot as a starter or for dinner alongside bread or a salad. Leftovers are a great lunch, or become the base of a curry sauce for another night’s dinner. In late spring and summer, when the weather is warmer, I almost exclusively serve this carrot ginger soup cold. It’s light and refreshing, akin to gazpacho or cucumber soup.
This carrot ginger soup is simple to prepare and the recipe easily doubles. I love how the carrots cook quickly and make a beautiful, bright orange soup any time of the year. The fresh ginger and curry powder flavor the sweetness with a warm spice. Adding the chickpeas into a traditional carrot soup gives it a silky smoothness when blended. Plus, there’s added protein from these legumes. Toasting the coconut gives it a nice texture and flavor, but is totally optional. The green onions add the perfect zing and make for a nice presentation.
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Curried Carrot Ginger Soup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 10 carrots (about 2 to 3 pounds)
- 2- to 3-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 3 to 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- Toasted coconut flakes, for topping
- Green onions, for topping
- Cilantro, for topping
In a large pot, warm coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper, stirring onions until they are evenly coated with oil. Let cook 5 to 8 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
While onions are cooking, trim carrots and roughly dice into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. Add carrots, ginger, and curry powder to the pot. Stir to combine and let cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in chickpeas, coconut milk, and broth. There should be enough broth to cover the carrots in the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 25 to 35 minutes until carrots are soft.
Remove from heat. If using an immersion blender, blend ingredients until smooth or your desired consistency. If using a high speed blender, ladle soup into blender and blend until smooth. (You may need to do this in batches.)
Taste soup and adjust salt, pepper, or curry powder as desired.
To toast coconut flakes, heat pan on medium high heat. Pour in coconut flakes and stir constantly to prevent burning. Heat until flakes begin to brown. Remove from heat immediately.
Serve soup immediately or let cool and serve with coconut flakes, green onions, and cilantro.
Taste your curry powder before you cook! Curry powders vary in ingredients, flavor, and level of spice. You may want to reduce the amount of curry powder depending on your preference. The toasting step for the coconut flakes is totally optional, but adds a lovely crunch and complements the warm flavors of the soup.
Use a homemade chicken or vegetable stock instead of store bought. Or make your own vegetable bouillon. You can prepare your own chickpeas on the stovetop or in a slow cooker instead of using canned chickpeas. You will need about 2 cups cooked chickpeas for this carrot ginger soup.
Check the Fridge
Red lentils would also be good in this carrot ginger if you don’t have chickpeas. You could add or swap in sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Cooking times may vary and you may need to boil the sweet potatoes or butternut squash for longer than 35 minutes. Have some extra greens? Stir in spinach, kale or chard after blending and simmer until the greens are cooked.