Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Carrot Coconut Ginger Soup

One thing that David and I like to do together is go on walks.  Unfortunately for David, we live in an urban area, and he usually has to stop and wait every 20 feet so that I can peruse the menus that restaurants post outside their doors.  

On our recent trip to Kauai, we decided to stroll along the "historic" main road in Hanapepe (which, by the way, makes an appearance in Lilo and Stitch)  and visit the art galleries and souvenir shops (one of them had a collection of children's books written by my old pediatrician - neat!).  We only passed by one restaurant, but their menu was filled with dishes that I really wanted to try.  The dish that stood out to me the most was Carrot Coconut Lemongrass Soup.  We unfortunately didn't have time to go in and eat (plus, the weather was way too hot and humid for soup) so I made a mental note to try it the next time we visit.

When we returned to San Diego on Friday, I was bummed to see that June Gloom had extended into July.  I really wanted my Fourth of July weekend to be filled with sunshine.  I wanted to wear tank tops and shorts and get popsicles from the neighborhood ice cream truck.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate.

On the bright side, I had the perfect opportunity to try making the soup that I had missed out on!  I couldn't find lemongrass, so I decided to make it with ginger instead.  The soup was super delicious.  There was a lot of sweetness from the carrots and sweet potato, which brought out the flavor of the coconut milk, but the sweetness was balanced with the saltiness of the broth and the spicy kick of the ginger (gingery-spicy, not mouth-heat-spicy, if that makes sense).  David isn't much of a soup fan, but he really enjoyed this soup (or he at least claimed to).

Carrot Coconut Ginger Soup
2 tablespoons ginger, sliced thinly
2 cups sliced carrots (about 1/4 inch thick)
1 medium sweet potato (cut into small cubes)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste

Saute ginger in 1 tablespoon of broth in a medium soup pot for one minute, or until ginger is soft.  Add carrots, sweet potato, and the rest of the broth.  Simmer on medium high heat until the vegetables are tender (about 15-20 minutes).  Add coconut milk and stir.  Transfer the soup to a large bowl and let cool.  Set the pot aside - you're still going to need it.  When the soup has cooled, blend it in batches (don't fill more than 1/4 of the blender) until silky smooth.  Transfer back to the soup pot and reheat.  Add salt and pepper until the soup is to your liking.

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