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Carrot Sweet-Potato Soup
(recipe, Carrie Floyd)
Last year, when I made Amy Pennington's Carrot-Coconut Milk Soup soup, I liked it, but couldn't stop tinkering with it. First I added ginger and swapped out the coconut milk for "lite" coconut milk. Very good, but I wanted more carrot flavor and to bring forward the wonderful caramelized-shallot flavor, so I added more of both ingredients. Sweet potatoes, I thought, would add a luscious texture to the soup, so I included those in my next pot of soup. Then I started fooling around with the garnishes, adding a pinch of salt and a bit of orange zest (maybe lime next time?) to the yogurt, thinning it with a bit of milk to make it easy to drizzle.
An elegant first course, a nice companion to Asian-flavored noodles and green salads, and a pleasing lunch served all on its own, this is now my all-time favorite recipe for carrot soup.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ cups thinly sliced shallots (2 or 3 extra-large shallots)
- 6 to 7 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch coins
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into slices (about 2 cups)
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
- 1 can (13½ ounces) light coconut milk
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth (I use Homemade Veggie Bouillon)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ tsp. freshly grated orange zest
- Big pinch of salt
- Milk or cream, for thinning
- Make the soup: In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and a pinch of salt; cook about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the carrots and stir occasionally, letting them sit and brown a bit (the shallot will start caramelizing too), about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato and ginger and cook another 5 minutes, stirring here and there.
- Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth (or water) to the pot, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer, partially covered, until the carrots and sweet potato are soft and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Purée with an immersion blender until completely smooth, or carefully in a blender (remember to leave several inches of headspace at the top of the blender, and cover the lid with a thick dishcloth to absorb any accidental hot splatters). Stir in more water if you want a thinner soup, and season to taste with salt. Reheat if necessary.
- Serve hot as is, or garnish with a spoonful of plain yogurt or optional seasoned yogurt (see below) and freshly ground black pepper.
- Make the garnish: Whisk together the yogurt, orange zest, and salt. Thin, if you wish, with a little milk or cream.