Amidst all the holiday baking, gooey goodies and indulgence… I’m going to offer a sweet, healthy—and probably unexpected—alternative: Carrot Soup.
I won’t deny, I enjoy a delicious snack of Christmas cookies at this time of year, but I also like to balance things out, so-to-speak. It’s way too easy to overindulge, over the holidays!
I discovered the best kind of recipe—one that’s both easy and healthy—for Carrot Soup. Actually, I found two recipes on Pinterest and have merged the two into my own unique version. It ties into nearly every current, healthy eating trend:
- It’s vegan for those who only eat plant-based foods
- It’s a great option for those on the “clean eating” diet of whole, unprocessed foods (I’ve been trying to incorporate more of this approach into my family’s meal planning)
- Carrot soup contains cancer-fighting antioxidents
- It’s a colorful food, for those trying to “eat the rainbow”
- And it’s a satisfying solution to “Meatless Mondays”
Carrots are sky-high in Vitamin A, with a good dose of fiber, Vitamin C and potassium too. One of my favorite things about this recipe is the taste of fresh ginger… delish!
We have been pelted with early season snowstorms here in central Pennsylvania (and it’s technically still fall!) so warm soup is definitely in order, already. There is something about warm soup that seems to magically warm my soul as well.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 c sweet onion, chopped
- 1 T garlic, minced
- 2 T fresh ginger root, minced
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium potato – try using a russet potato or a sweet potato, your choice, peeled and chopped
- 6 c vegetable stock or chicken stock
- Cracked black pepper and Kosher salt, to taste
- Plain yogurt and honey for garnish
1. Use a food processor to chop all of your veggies. This is time “off the merry-go-round,” after all. Save time wherever you can so you can spend more time with your family! 🙂
2. Cook the onion in the olive oil. Use a large stockpot if you will be cooking the soup on your stovetop. Or, simply use a frying pan for this step and then cook the soup in your crockpot.
3. After 10 minutes, or when the onions become soft, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. If using a stock pot: add all ingredients. Or, transfer onion mixture to crockpot and add all ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are tender. This step could take up to an hour on the stove. Turn your crockpot on low and let it cook all day.
5. Puree with an immersion blender directly in your pot or transfer several batches into your blender to puree.
6. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of honey. Don’t skip the honey… it’s a bright note that really brings out the ginger and carrot flavors and ties them all together.
(Abridged from Women’s Health Magazine and Food Network, via PopSugar)
A few more tips:
- This soup is satisfying, but if the male members of your family are like mine, they would probably appreciate a steaming loaf of homemade bread as an accompaniment. A hearty whole-grain or oatmeal bread works well.
- I have tried both the russet and sweet potato in the soup and they both work well. I personally prefer the sweet potato flavor. Either way, the potato thickens the soup a bit and adds additional nutrients and flavor.
- I have doubled the recipe and then packaged up the leftovers for easy-to-reheat lunches or frozen them to send off with my daughter to college, for a stash of “Mom’s Meals” in her freezer.
- This recipe always reminds me of the first time I tried carrot soup, several years ago, in a New York City restaurant. I was on a weekend trip with my daughter and we ate at a fantastic Italian restaurant for her birthday. As an appetizer, we both tried Carrot-Orange Soup. What an awesome combination of flavors, with the addition of citrus. I haven’t tried adapting this recipe to include the orange flavor, yet… but stay tuned!
Join the conversation and let us know…
Which soup recipes do you turn to over the winter months?
How do you combat over-indulgent holiday eating habits?