Friday, October 29, 2010

Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup

You've got feel bad for carrots sometimes (if you are inclined to having feelings for produce).  There are so many sexy veggies at the market vying for your attention: asparagus, escarole, jerusalem artichokes - the fall abundance of squash... The familiar carrot just gets left behind.
But if you're looking for a quick and easy dinner this is a great option for you.  Especially in the fall, when carrots are in season and pretty inexpensive.  

The warming spices in this dish are soothing and comforting as well.  While the heat helps to quell throat and sinus discomfort as the air gets cooler and drier, the sweet potato lends creaminess to the soup.  And the carrots really shine in this application: sweet, savory, delicious.

Promise me if you try this recipe you'll use full sized carrots and not those crazy baby carrots in a bag?  I know they're more convenient, but I assure you the traditional carrot is so much more flavorful and soooo much less water logged.

I adapted this recipe from to utilize what I had on-hand, and I amped up the cayenne too- because I love some spice.  This soup makes a great light dinner and packs well for a nice warm lunch.  Tinker with the cayenne and red pepper if you don't like spice.  The cardamom, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon can do quite fine on their own if you prefer to omit the heat.
1 teaspoon butter
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups water
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, and cook until golden brown.  If the onions brown too quickly, add a splash of water to the pan so they cook slowly. Season with cardamom, turmeric, ginger, pepper flakes, cinnamon, cayenne; cook until the smell of the spices  permeates your kitchen, about 1 minute.

Pour in 3 cups of water; add sweet potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, and puree in batches until smooth.  Return to the pan and stove top warm through again. Serve and enjoy.

I served mine with some chopped cilantro on top.  This would also be delicious with some plain nonfat yogurt dolloped on top. 
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  1. Oh yumyum! I have now seen two carrot soup recipes in the past couple days and think it's time for me to get on board!

  2. Your photos look really, really, really gorgeous! They make me wish I was eating a bowl of your soup instead of this uninspired salad from Sebastian's!

  3. This looks great! I love carrots :)

  4. you do gotta feel bad for the carrots! I would never use the babys in a soup though! this looks amazing, love the amped up spice in your version!

  5. I have to agree with Michelle - your pictures are making me want to eat this soup immediately. It looks incredible!