Thursday, January 02, 2014

Simplified Carrot-Ginger Soup (with updated recipe), Leftovers (Quinoa-Couscous Seitan, Purple Sweet Potato Mash)

Happy New Year! My birthday was a few days ago and my wife took me to Cafe Parizade, where we host Thanksgiving, for a very nice meal with a good variety of dishes. There was this awesome purple sweet potato dish, and a unique quinoa-couscous tempeh dish that I brought home as leftovers. All of the food was great!

I heated up the leftovers from my birthday dinner and made a simplified version of my carrot-ginger soup. I first described it in March 2010, using a Vitamix recipe but substituting cashew for tofu (I should try it with tofu when cooking just for my daughter and myself). It basically involves a quick saute of carrot, onion, and garlic, before blending with ginger, tofu/cashew, and broth.

Today, I decided to try a simplified version of the soup. At least once before, I did the same thing - I skipped the saute. The soup tasted just fine and none of us found it significantly different from how it has been in the past! Below is my revised recipe that I think that I will use from now on.

  • Four medium organic carrots, washed but unpeeled with just a bit of the very ends removed; they will be pulverized by the blender so don't really need to be cut, but I often roughly cut them into maybe 2 or 3 inch pieces
  • 1/4 small onion (I also used a small shallot), as is or perhaps cut into halves or thirds
  • 4 cloves garlic (I skipped garlic; my Dad is visiting for about a month and doesn't eat garlic)
  • 1/4 t salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1T fresh ginger root
  • (optional) 1/4 of a fresh jalapeno, more or less to taste (I didn't use as my daughter would find the soup unpalatable)
  • 1/3 cup (less if you want less fat) raw cashew pieces (or whole raw cashews, but they are more expensive)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube; I use Rapunzel brand without salt
  • (optional) pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • (optional) Sprig of rosemary or other fresh herb (I skipped this time)

  1. In the order as above, put all the ingredients, except the optional black pepper and fresh herb, into a high powered blender like a Vitamix. It will also work with other blenders, but the carrot may need to be cut into smaller pieces first, and the soup may need to be made in batches.
  2. Turn the Vitamix on to low (1) and slowly, over about 10 seconds, to medium (5) until all the ingredients are chopped and the nascent soup is looking almost uniform.
  3. Turn the blender to high and blend for about 4 or 5 minutes until steam is generated. Less powerful blenders may not be able to sustain this; in that case, blend till uniform and then transfer to a stock pan, bring to a near boil, then simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes.
  4. Serve, optionally with black pepper and/or a garnish of fresh herb.
The original recipe has this as yielding 4 1/2 cups and having 6g of fat per cup. Light silken tofu, at least as formulated by one brand, has only a gram of fat per 91g of tofu, and this calls for even less tofu. Raw (not that cashews can truly be raw without including a bit of poison, but that's a different discussion :-) ) cashews have 12g of fat per ounce, and an ounce of cashews is about a quarter cup by volume, so 1/3 cup has about 16g of fat. So my recipe should have about 3-4 g of fat additional per cup, or about 9-10g of fat per cup.


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