One of the best things about the Summer is that we get a CSA share delivered to our door once a week. It starts arriving at our doorstep in late Spring and bids us goodbye in the early Fall. But for the time that it’s here, it comes filled with local, seasonal, and sustainably grown fruit and vegetables, fresh eggs, and the occasional order of organic meat when we want it. The quality of the food is superb and we love that it’s such a win-win situation: We get fresh, organic food at a really good price and local farmers are directly supported. We don’t always know what we’re getting until the week of (though you can kind of guess, depending on what’s in season) and as a planner, I initially found it hard. But I’ve come to love how that it keeps us on our toes. We have no choice but to be creative with what we get. In the Summer, the pick was diverse. But now that Fall has arrived, there are piles (and I mean piles) of carrots and sweet potatoes coming in. Really, you should see our sweet potato loot. We can barely keep up! But I digress, let’s focus on the carrots (and a few of their fiesty companions) right now.
This carrot lemongrass soup seriously delivers. On top of the carrots it’s got ginger, lemongrass, garlic, red curry paste, coconut milk, coriander, and lemon zest. The flavour combinations are so completely matched that there isn’t a hint of the “rootiness” of the carrot. It’s a good transition soup–the carrots make it about it Fall, but the levity in its flavour keeps its roots (no pun intended) in the Summer.
This soup is smooth and creamy, yet light. The flavour strong, yet subtle. It’s simple to make, but delivers a complex flavour punch. And above all, it’s delicious and really good for you. And if there’s one thing that I love here at 80twenty, it’s eating really tasty food that is also really good for you. Why not when it’s so easy to do?!
As a point of note, I like to buy kaffir lime leaves and pre-chopped lemongrass from asian supermarkets and keep them in the freezer. Call me lazy, but I hate chopping lemongrass. This makes it so much easier. And once you cook with lime leaves, you’ll never know what you did without them. They’ll both keep in the freezer for about a year.
Carrot Lemongrass Soup (Serves 6-8)
Adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook
// Ingredients //
8 cups vegetable stock
6 kaffir lime leaves (see note below)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp coarse salt
3 tbsp chopped lemongrass (see note below)
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 heaping tbsp ground coriander
2 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
1 can light coconut milk (398 mL)
2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp lemon zest
Optional garnishes: Chopped cilantro leaves, sriracha, coconut oil
Begin by heating the stock while you prepare the soup ingredients. Add the lime leaves and keep warm.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp of salt. Cook the onions until translucent. Add minced garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry paste, and coriander; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped carrots and remaining 1 tsp salt. Saute for several minutes, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are soft (about 15 minutes).
Remove the lime leaves and puree the soup in a blender (or with a hand blender) until smooth. Whisk in coconut milk and sriracha and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Just before serving, add the lemon zest, and season with more salt to taste, if desired. If you’d like, garnish each bowl with freshly chopped cilantro leaves, and a few drops, each, of sriracha and coconut oil.
*Note: If you haven’t worked with lemongrass before, check this out. If you can’t find lime leaves, you can substitute the zest of two small limes.