Creamy Thai Carrot Soup

This wonderful warming and nutritious soup includes seasonal carrots and sweet potato. Ginger and curry spices possess significant anti-inflammatory properties, and kaffir lime and lemongrass are both digestive tonic plants.  For a spicy variation on this soup, substitute the sweet curry powder with 1 teaspoon of red Thai curry paste. Dissolve the paste in a bit of hot water before adding to the soup.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small knob peeled fresh ginger root, chopped fine (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet curry powder
1 bay leaf
2 kaffir lime leaves or a 3-inch length of lemongrass sliced into matchsticks
1 1/2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and chopped
4 cups vegetable broth or filtered water
Sea salt
1 15-ounce can of coconut milk
Thai basil or cilantro leaves for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1.) Warm olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, sweet potato and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 
2.) Add the ginger, coriander, curry spice, bay leaf, and kaffir leaves, and cook the mixture 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Heating the spices before adding liquid helps release their full flavor potential.
 
3.) Add the carrots and broth, along with an additional 2 cups of water and 2 large pinches of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the carrots are very tender.
 
4.) Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf and kaffir lime leaves. Puree soup with a vertical blender until creamy. Whisk in the coconut milk, and if necessary heat to serving temperature, taking care not to boil the soup. Adjust seasoning and serve garnished with the Thai basil or cilantro leaves.
 

Adapted from a Whole Foods Market Recipe

Serves 6 to 8

Total Time 50 minutes