Welcome to the second installment of What We Share! I’m so thrilled to be here with you. It's been a rough week what with the coup and all. Let's find an opportunity for rest and respite. Here’s a recipe to try out and a playlist to listen to.
This playlist is made of some of my favorite cold-weather songs. When I listen to these songs, the ache in my joints feels a little more distant, and everything seems a little easier. I hope you love them. You can listen in any order, and if you don’t have Spotify but want to put the playlist together for yourself some other way, the songs are all right here.
Continuing the cozy vibes, let’s make some comforting, velvety Carrot Soup.
Step Zero — Prep!
- Wash a few pounds of carrots. Wash them really well. They grow in the dirt and they’re covered in secret crevices. If you have a little vegetable brush, now’s the time to use it.
- Chop up a healthy handful of green onions.
- Mince or crush a couple of inches of ginger and several cloves of garlic. Alternatively, you can use a big heaping spoonful of ginger-garlic paste, which is one of my favorite cooking shortcuts.
- Open a can of coconut milk and mix the solids and liquids together if you need to.
- Constitute, open, or thaw two cups of chicken stock.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Step One — Roast those carrots up real nice. Chop off the tips and tops, slice them in half lengthwise, and lay them out in a single layer on a pan, cut side up. Drizzle them with a neutral oil and add some salt and pepper. They go in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they’re fork-tender and have a tiny bit of browning on them. Don’t be scared to leave them in for a long time if it takes a long time to get that browning, they’re going to end up being soup anyway! Pull them out when they look like this:
Step Two — While the carrots are roasting, throw the onions, ginger, and garlic into a big pot with a drizzle of a neutral oil. Add a lot of cracked black pepper and stir for a couple of minutes, until everything is nice and fragrant.
Step Three — Once your kitchen smells great — but before anything is too brown — add the coconut milk and half the stock to the pot. Give it a good stir to combine and let it simmer while the carrots finish roasting.
Step Four — After the carrots finish roasting, transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add the remaining stock and blend until smooth. Then transfer your smooth carrots to the pot and stir to combine thoroughly. Simmer for about ten minutes, or until you like the texture you’re looking at. Season with salt to taste.
That’s it! That’s the soup. This recipe is easy and flexible, and you can change up pretty much every part of it:
- If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can take a potato masher or even a pastry cutter to those carrots until they’re thoroughly smashed. The result won’t be as smooth, but it will be just as tasty.
- If you don’t do coconut milk, you can use any other kind of milk product here, dairy or nondairy. Heavy cream would be truly decadent.
- If you don’t do chicken products, you can use vegetable stock or miso. You could also add a little beer or white wine for extra dimension.
- If you don’t have green onions, you can use pretty much any allium — white or yellow onion or shallot would go nicely here.
- If you don’t do alliums at all, leave out the garlic and onion. You can replace their sweetness and complexity with some sautéed celery and a healthy dash of coconut aminos or worcestershire sauce.
- If you don’t do ginger, leave it out. You can add some heat and brightness with a little cayenne and a squeeze of lemon.
- If you don’t do carrots, use a different roasted vegetable that lands on the sweeter side. Fennel bulb, sweet potato, or pumpkin would work very nicely here.
- Feel free to experiment with seasonings! Fresh rosemary, fried sage, smoky pepper, anise, and turmeric are all fabulous here.
I like to serve this soup with a dollop of creme fraiche (or greek yogurt, or crema, or sour cream) and a few generous lashings of hot sauce.
Thanks for being here, friends. If you’ve been experiencing January’s book and beverage, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Tell us what you like, what you don’t like, what you’ve been modifying and substituting as needed. Remember, our conversations about these experiences aren’t limited to a particular time — there’s nothing quite like connecting over things we share across time and space.
Let’s put some good music on and cook a meal together.