ONCE YOU tap the basic formula for a pureed vegetable soup, the possibilities can yield a lifetime of happy, healthy eating.
The basic technique is simple: Saute aromatics such as onion, garlic, leek and ginger; add a vegetable and broth plus seasonings; cook until the vegetable is tender; and then blend until smooth.
Hot soup is a supremely comforting and satisfying way to get your vegetables when it's cold out, and chilled variations can take you through summer.
Coconut Curry Carrot Soup
6 servings (makes 7 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons peeled, finely grated, fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
5 carrots (about 670 g), scrubbed well, cut into 1/4-inch thick coins
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons honey
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, turmeric and cayenne pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring, then add the carrots and the broth.
Increase the heat to high just to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
Stir in the coconut milk and the honey, then puree using an immersion (stick) blender, or in several batches in a regular blender (if using the latter, remove the center knob of the lid so steam can escape, and place a paper towel over the opening to avoid splash-ups).
Serve warm, as a starter or alongside a sandwich or avocado toast for a fulfilling meal.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. You may need to thin it with water when reheating.
Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author. She blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at www.elliekrieger.com.