Roasted Carrot Soup.
Mother Nature sure is treating us to a lovely little reminder that it is in fact winter and we do in fact live in the northeast; so suck it up, bundle up, and fire up the stove - it's soup making season. I mean really, what's more satisfying than a good for you heart and soul bowl of homemade soup in this on-again/off-again winter weather we've been tackling this season.
I won't lie, the first time I spotted carrot soup on a menu my reaction was similar to that of a 5 year old being told they don't have to like the brussels sprouts on their plate, but they at least have to try them. Nah, I'm good, thank you though. Then I put on my big girl panties (oh, and mom was in town) and decided to face my fears (fear of carrot soup? Life ain't always easy you know) and ordered the damn roasted carrot soup. Yep, my world pretty much changed right before my mouth. And I'm gladly about to do the same for you...
I know you know these vibrant orange veggies are good for your eye sight, but their benefits far surpass your sight seeing abilities:
- healthy glowing skin (from the inside) - yes, please! vitamin a and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. deficiency in this much needed vitamin causes dryness to the skin, hair and nails. no thank you!
- beautiful skin (from the outside) - in need of an DIY facial mask? Mix grated carrot with a bit of honey. check out this recipe.
- cleanse the body - vitamin a (once again) assists that over worked liver of yours in flushing out the toxins from the body, let's face it, most of us are in dire need of some liver detoxing. the fiber present in carrots helps to clean out the colon and hasten waste movement -- keeping things flowin'!
- anti-aging - the queen bee beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. it helps slow down the aging of cells - something we are all in search of.
- power house antiseptic - these root beauties are known by herbalists to prevent infection. they can be used on cuts -- shredded raw or boiled and mashed. small disclaimer: i have personally yet to try this, but next cut in the kitchen and you better believe i'm running straight to the fridge for a carrot.
- healthy teeth and gums - it's all in the crunch baby! raw carrots clean your teeth and your mouth; they scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes. carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria. (please, continue to use your toothbrush).
Never mind the tears they bring on - onions are an ace ally in your fight against disease. A prized member of the lily family, they lavish you with health benefits while adding depth to your favorite soup.
Who would have thought...
- Phytochemicals in onions improve the working of vitamin c in the body, thus gifting you with improved immunity
- Onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar
- For centuries onions have been used to reduce inflammation and heal infections
- Bitten by a feisty lil bee? Apply onion juice on the area for immediate relief from the pain and burning sensation
And then there was thyme. Herbs, as many of you already know, are quite simply aromatic miracle workers. The ancient Greeks believed this power house herb was a source of courage and often used it in their baths. In the European middle ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. Tea made by infusing the herb in water can even be used for coughs and bronchitis. One study also showed that thyme may be beneficial in treating acne. (I bet adding a sprinkle to that facial recipe above wouldn't hurt). All that in one easy to grow, fragrant, delicate herb of tiny medicinal leaves.
7-8 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch rounds.
freshly cracked black pepper
4 cups good quality, low sodium veggie stock
2 cups filtered water
1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish to beautify
1 bay leaf
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves, chopped (one can never have too much garlic)
1-2 tsp ground turmeric
Preheat oven to 425F.
Toss the carrots with a thin coat of olive oil, a hefty pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper. Lay out on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the carrots until they are brown and slightly soft, about 25-30 minutes (remember, my oven and your oven might not be in sync, so cooking times may vary).
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pot bring the stock and water to a boil, add the ginger, bay leaf, and the sprig of thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
In a dutch oven (or medium stock pot) and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and brown over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, turmeric, and then the carrots. Mix well.
Remove the ginger, bay leaf and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the pot with the carrots and onion. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft enough to puree.
Puree! You can do this with either an immersion (stick) blender or a standard blender (in batches). If the soup seems to be slightly too thick for your liking, simply add a bit more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to perfect.
To serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a dainty sprig of thyme.
And that, my darlings, is that.