So I've always had an aversion to carrots. Whether this was because of my mother's favored method of preparation or a taste aversion developed after "gagging" on my carrots one too many times, I guess I'll never know. But I was quite surprised to find that I liked carrot juice when my friend Lindsay took me to a juice bar one day just a few years ago. I was a bit of a health nut, but I had never tried fresh juices like these (vegetable juices) and I was wary of the fact that carrots and beets were included in nearly all of the juices - I opted for a safe blueberry smoothie. But being my adventurous self, I tried some of Lindsay's carrot, apple, and parsley concoction. I was prepared for the worst, expecting to make a big scene on the main street of our college town, spitting the carroty juice out as quickly as I could, with a stream of orange sure to stain my clothes (I know, a great picture to induce your appetite, right?). Anyway, none of that happened. Nope, I actually swallowed the juice, smiled and thought to myself that I couldn't believe I liked something made from carrots. Something in which the flavor of the carrot was not in any way masked but rather was the very hallmark of the item. And I went back not too long after that on my own, prepared to order my very own "Rainbow Magic" as it was called, a carrot, apple, and parsley juice that I now make in my own home.
I still don't love carrots by any means. I think the texture is always going to be a problem for me, whether cooked or raw. And I try and try to like carrot dishes of all sorts, but I just can't seem to find the strength. The flavor of carrots, however, I do love. And I make carrot juices and soups in my own home as often as I can. I love carrot juice and get so excited whenever I see a real, live juice bar - no matter how expensive a small 8 oz. vegetable concoction is, I will invariably shell out the cash, and probably splurge on a shot of wheatgrass too! Any, I digress. I dig carrots now, in liquid form. And this is why I wasn't too afraid of the carrot ginger soup at a little bistro restaurant I worked in during the summers of my college career. Everyone raved about it and I liked carrot juice, so surely carrot soup would be alright. And it was definitely more than alright - I almost love carrot soup more than carrot juice. Almost.
I have tried to make carrot ginger soup before and left the stove before the pureeing stage. I left the stove long enough for the soup to burn, long enough that I could not mask the flavor of "burn" when I decided not to give up and still poured my carrot ginger concoction into the food processor. I had put so much love and energy into the soup, I couldn't let it all go to waste. Unfortunately, it ultimately did go to waste because it was simply inedible in its state of burn. So this is my second attempt at carrot ginger soup, one that went decidedly better than the first. I also took a slightly different route, roasting the carrots and garlic before combining the rest of the soup ingredients. Roasting vegetables is a sure-fire way to enhance their flavor and sweetness, including garlic, and I thought it would be a great way to make this soup a bit more my own.
So here's my recipe so a Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup. There are plenty of carrot ginger recipes out there is you want something a little more traditional or a bit more creamy. I encourage you to try what I've come up with, though, because it's a real flavor treat and a recipe that helped to turn this one-time carrot-hater around to the bright side.
Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
- 16 oz. carrots, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed with skins on
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 in. section ginger
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peel and chop carrots. Smash garlic cloves. Place carrots and garlic on a baking sheet (covered in aluminum foil to reduce clean up) and coat with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Cook carrots and garlic 15 minutes.
5. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
6. Peel garlic from skins and add garlic and carrots to pot.
7. Grate ginger over top the pot. Finely chop the ends of the ginger that cannot be grated and add to pot.
8. Add all broth and stir. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour soup into food processor or blender, working in batches as necessary.
10. For extra smoothy, creaminess, return pureed soup to medium heat and add butter. Stir to melt.