Carrot and ginger – grey day soup

I’ve realised that I write about soup more than another type of dish, but then that’s not surprising really, as soup is truly awesome! For a start, it’s hard to go wrong (although I have tasted some really bad ones in my time, so it is possible!), it’s pretty quick and easy, and nutritionally it’s the best way to retain all the gorgeous vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. And what’s best is that you really don’t need to add gallons of cream or butter to make it taste good (even though some chefs will tell you otherwise).

For me, it’s the vegetable that’s the star in a good soup. Oh, and if your carrot or lettuce is looking rather limp and pathetic at the back of the fridge, unsuitable for being seen on a plate by itself, using it up in a soup not only means you have ingredients to hand, but reduces food waste too.

I always thought I was pretty good with minimising waste in our house, but having watched “Hugh’s War on Waste’, I felt rather guilty as I realised we still do throw out more than we should. I was so shocked to see all those gorgeous parsnips going to waste (just think how much spicy parsnip soup you could have got out of those!!!) and when he took items directly out of people’s trolleys at the supermarket that usually get thrown away, it really sunk in. I decided there an then that there would be no more veg wastage in our house. So we’ve had some interesting, sometimes rather green soups since then!

We had a pre-Christmas gathering at the weekend, and my lovely husband ended up over purchasing on the vegetables. Today is grey and chilly, so soup just had to be made, and as the fridge is rather overstocked with carrots, ginger and fresh coriander, the soup flavour was easy to decide!

Carrots are an amazing vegetable, underrated by many in my opinion as they’re so mainstream and reliable. Their vibrant orange colour tells us they’re packed full of betacarotene, the precursor to vitamin A which is essential for healthy skin, eyes and helps support our immune system. They also have lots of vitamin C and other anti-oxidants, and their sweet flavour means there’s not many people who won’t eat a few.

Ginger is also amazing and compliments the carrots rather beautifully. It’s fabulous for easing digestive problems and it’s phytonutrients can help reduce inflammation and support our immune system, so again great for this time of year when there are so many coughs and colds around. Plus the heat from the ginger just makes you feel warm and cosy from the inside!

So why not try this delicious soup and bring a warm, orange glow to an otherwise chilly and grey day?

Carrot, ginger and coriander soup
1 large onion diced
splash of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cm long piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1kg carrots, peeled and chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bunch coriander, stems chopped
1.2 litres vegetable stock
salt and pepper
almond or soya cream to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and ginger, stir well then add the carrot and potato. Sauté for a couple of minutes but don’t let it burn – add a little stock if necessary. Add the coriander stems and stock, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Cool for a few minutes, then blend with a stick blender, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve into bowls and garnish with coriander leaves and a dribble of dairy free cream as required. Enjoy!

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