roasted carrot + ginger ninja soup

roasted carrot + ginger soup

There’s something about a good soup recipe. Even better – a soup recipe that uses up all of those random carrots that I tend to find at the bottom of my vegetable crisper. I swear, they seem to multiply down there when I’m not looking.

Soup is something I cook when I know I’m going to be short on time, but still want something satisfying, wholesome and soul-filling. This soup reaches right down to the bottom of your toes, filling you up with a ginger-y warmth that tingles on your tongue.

It’s also a nutritional powerhouse. Lots of onion, garlic + ginger (all awesome for digestion and discouraging cancer), carrot (vitamin A), turmeric (stellar inflammation fighter), and miso. Inspired by this recipe from smitten kitchen, I decided to adapt it to my tastes by roasting all the vegetables first. This intensifies their flavour and gets rid of some of the moisture, which should prevent a watery soup. Most soup recipes can be adapted to a roasting method, and they all do better for it I think.

Around here lately, it’s been hot, and humid, and generally quite disgusting. But I still want to eat this soup – it’s like a big umami hug. Life feels busy at the moment, but productive and whole. Let’s just say I’m enjoying being present – it feels good. X

carrots
chopped up
carrot-soup-combo
soup w trimmings

roasted carrot and ginger ninja soup

serves 4-6

recipe notes

  • this soup is delicious as is, but i also imagine that the addition of a bit of sweet potato, pumpkin or normal potato wouldn’t hurt it either
  • the sesame oil to finish is something you really shouldn’t skip. this soup is also delicious served with a scoop of brown rice and some roasted (or fresh) tofu.
  • i give two methods for blending the soup – my preference is for blending in batches in a blender, as I find that I get a much smoother, creamier result – but it’s your preference.

ingredients

  • 700 g (1 lb 8 oz) carrots
  • one decent thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 large (~200g) zucchini
  • 1 large (~160 g) onion
  • 3 fat garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 c shiro miso paste
  • 5-6 cups of vegetable broth or water

to serve:

  • sesame oil
  • shichimi togarishi (Japanese seven-spice mix)

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Roughly slice the carrots, and zucchini (leaving the carrot peel on). Roughly dice the ginger and onion (no need to peel the ginger either!).┬áIn a large baking tray, toss the carrot, zucchini, onion and ginger with the olive oil. Do not salt at this stage – there will be plenty of salt in your miso and broth. Wrap the whole garlic cloves in foil and nestle somewhere in the tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until everything is soft and lightly browned.

When cooked, remove the vegetables from the oven. Squeeze the soft garlic from its skins. You can now proceed in two ways: (1) blend the cooked vegetables with the remaining ingredients in a blender in batches, and combine the batches in a large saucepan to heat up again. Or (2) place the cooked vegetables with the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and blend with an immersion blender. For both methods, adjust with more or less liquid to achieve your desired thickness.

Warm the soup for a few minutes – it shouldn’t have lost too much heat during the blending. Serve with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and a little bowl of shichimi togarishi on the table for sprinkling.

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roast pumpkin and leek soup w za’atar roasted pumpkin seeds

roasted pumpking & leek soup w za'atar roasted pumpkin seeds

Holy shit balls, guys! We did it. We’re married, and we’ve just got back from a week of eating, walking, and adventuring our way around Melbourne. If you’d like to see some of our Melbourne (or wedding) snaps, check out my Instagram. I’m going to spend many happy hours this weekend sorting through photos (stay tuned for wedding and honeymoon posts soon), but right now, I’ve got some kittens to cuddle.

chopped & ready for the oven
roasted edges
roasted pumpkin & leek
pumpkin seed glory
soup toppings (accidental self portrait)

If you’ve always sort of been like ‘meh’ to pumpkin soup or soups in general (though – seriously? I thought this was an insane – I would eat soup every day given the opportunity – until I met Adam, who gets ancy if he has soup once a fortnight, let alone every day – but this soup got the Adam-stamp-of-approval, which means that it’s even better than what I think is a good soup normally), I have the solution: roasting. Roast everything first (except celery – I don’t think celery particularly warms to roasting, but that’s just me). This intensifies the flavours in the vegetables a huge amount, and you get awesome little browned flavoursome bits.

Once everything’s roasted (that is, cooked), all you have to do is dump it in a pot, add water or stock, bring to the boil and blend. You’ve added another dimension (and another adjective) to your soup.

Also, pumpkin seeds. I’m positive that after discovering the absolute magic of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds, I’m never going to throw away a single pumpkin seed again. Ever. These were just so good, half of them didn’t even make it onto the soup, but into my mouth somewhere in the two hours between morning snack and lunchtime. I’m excited by the possible adventures I’m going to have with pumpkin seeds. Triple paprika? Cumin and lemon? Chilli and lime? Watch this pumpkin-seed-coated space.

lunch time

Roasted Pumpkin and Leek Soup

serves 4

Recipe notes:

  • I also topped this soup with paprika tofu croutons (toss with 1 tsp paprika before roasting). Regular tofu croutons would also be delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1.1 kg (deseeded and peeled weight) pumpkin, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1.6 liter (6.5 cups) water/stock
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F). Remember to reserve the seeds from your pumpkin! Wrap garlic cloves in foil and set aside. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables (except the celery), oil, bay, and sage, with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out in a single layer over two ovens trays lined with baking paper. Nestle the foil-wrapped garlic onto one of the trays. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and starting to colour.

Remove the garlic from the foil, and squeeze the soft garlic from its skin. In a large saucepan, combine roasted vegetables, garlic, celery, water/stock, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then carefully blend using a stick blender, or in batches in a standing blender. Serve topped with za’atar roasted pumpkin seeds, tofu croutons, and toasted bread, if desired.

Za’atar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

makes about 1/2 cup

Recipe notes:

  • Za’atar is amazing and goes on pretty much anything. If you can’t find a mix already made (there’s a spice seller at the markets I get mine from), here is a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 raw pumpkin seeds (from about half a whole pumpkin)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp za’atar spice mix
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 180 C (355 F). Rinse pumpkin seeds to remove any pumpkin fibers. Pat dry with a tea towel or kitchen paper. Combine the pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, stirring to thoroughly coat everything. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, spreading out into a single layer. Roast for 10-15 minutes, checking at 10 minutes to make sure they’re not colouring too quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Should keep for about one week.