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Carrot surplus calls for chilled soup

I have my kids’ school lunch program to thank for a surplus of baby carrots.

They’re handy to have around, but four bags of baby carrots challenges us to eat them all over the next few weeks. So consigning them to this chilled soup is appropriate timing for several reasons: the unseasonably warm temperatures and produce in excess of what we can eat fresh.

There’s no need to peel baby carrots for this recipe, of course. If that’s what you have, use an equal weight of baby carrots as full-sized specimens.

Soups like these are yet another reason to keep canned coconut milk on your list of pantry staples. This one would be lovely garnished with any fresh herbs, including mint and basil.

Tribune News Service photo

Cold Carrot-Coconut Soup

3 shallots, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral oil, divided

8 large carrots, peeled and sliced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons Madras curry powder

1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, cook the shallots in 1 tablespoon of the oil until soft, but not browned, for about 4 minutes. Add the carrots and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough cold water to cover carrots by 1 inch. Season lightly with the salt and pepper and cook until carrots are soft.

In a medium saucepan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil with the curry powder. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk. Cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Stir into carrot mixture.

In a blender or food processor, blend in batches until smooth. Pass soup through a fine-mesh sieve and season.

Store soup in a covered container in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Serve cold, garnished with cilantro.

Recipe from “Bistro Laurent Tourondel,” by Laurent Tourondel and Michele Scicolone.