Thai One On

On dark, cold and wet winter days, brightly colored carrots are a welcome ray of sunshine. Loaded with beta-carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin K and the fact that they are in peak season is just another reason to stock up on this versatile vegetable.

Sweet and crunchy, it's no wonder that carrots always rank highest on the list of desirable vegetables since this edible stick adapts to our own palate and matures just as we do through the years.
Before we can even walk or talk, we eat massive amounts of pureed carrots and then we upgrade to raw carrots with dip. A few years later, we're most likely enjoying roasted carrots and even pureeing them with other root vegetables to accompany slow-braised meats. Though carrots are generally not the first ingredient you think of when you think of soup, their inherent sweetness and being part of the root vegetable family makes them a perfect candidate as the star of a healthy and creamy soup.

To keep warm on what may be the last cold spell in South Texas for a while, the time was ripe for making carrot soup. Actually, I have been waiting since last November to make local chef Diego Galicia's (of Mixtli restaurant) carrot-ginger soup recipe which was included in the now sold-out Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market cookbook. A few weeks ago, as I was sorting through old magazines, I came across a recipe for carrot-coconut soup in Bon Appetit magazine that I had tabbed the page on.

As I tend to do, I blended the recipes to make my own signature version of carrot soup. Rich in flavor from carrots and onions I bought at the farmers market along with a hint of ginger, and then married with a combination of vegetable stock and coconut milk--a classic Thai ingredient, this soup is interesting, healthy and absolutely delicious.

Buen provecho!
Carrot-Ginger Coconut Soup
The Cowgirl Gourmet was inspired to create this soup from Diego Galicia's version and a recipe from the October 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine

Print recipe

Creamy, rich and absolutely divine, this carrot soup is just what you need to warm up on a cold night. The coconut milk gives it a rich mouthfeel and just a kick of fresh ginger adds a touch of heat. I promise you're have clean bowls when you serve this. In fact, you may not even have any leftover.

Serves 4

1/2 stick butter, unsalted (4 tablespoons)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 pound carrots, preferably grown locally and chemical-free
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and then a dash of Maldon salt when serving)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup water
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened and organic coconut milk
Chopped green onion or cilantro, garnish, optional

In a soup pot over medium-high heat, melt butter and add onions and carrots and season with salt and pepper.
Stirring often, cook for about 15 minutes or until carrots are softened. Add the ginger and cook another 5 minutes.
Stir in broth, coconut milk and water and stir well to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 40 minutes, until the liquid has reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, carefully tilt the pot and puree the soup until no lumps or chunks or carrots remain.
Reheat the soup and taste, seasoning with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro, and a sprinkle of Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy again the next day.
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