This is a story about carrots. Lots-o-carrots! I had planned on making some type of vegetable soup, as I had a box of low sodium vegetable starter broth. You know just a quickie soup pot to warm up a cold winter's day. Well this turned into a production, but it was so worth it in the end. In gathering the usual mirepoix ingredients (celery, carrots, and onions) I was looking over my current pile of produce. I then spied two huge leeks that needed to be prepared soon. I thought to myself, "Well leeks are a form of onion, so that should work as a substitute for the onions." Okay sounds interesting.
Then once more I looked into the fridge to get the celery and carrots. Oh my, I had an over flow of carrots in my supply. Some fancy organic dark red carrots, and a huge bag of carrots for juicing. Hmmm I have seen Dr. Joel Fuhrman put fresh made carrot juice right into a soup he was making, maybe that is what I should do too, just to use up the orange lovelies. Then I considered what to use to cream up a carrot soup, since I do not do dairy. How about coconut milk? Yes, I have that in cans and boxes. As soon as I thought coconut milk, I thought Thai... and cashews. That's how I came to make this soup.
I have since looked this veggie soup combination up on the internetzzz, and found that other people had this fantastic idea too! You might assume that I take pix of every meal I make. Actually, I don't always have the time, or even think about it... till afterwards, and then I say, "Oops!" Well, thank goodness I took photos of this one, because it is a winner! My husband said this carrot leek soup was so delicious, it was like dining at a fancy restaurant. Good call honey!
Carrot Leek Cashew Coconut Soup
3-4 stalks of celery
2 huge leeks
1 box low sodium organic vegetable broth
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 inch fresh ginger minced or micro-planed
3/4 box coconut milk
1/2 cup cashews - plus garnish amount
4 tbs golden flax powder.
4 tbs golden flax powder.
After gathering the organic vegetables together, I washed, trimmed, and prepared them to go into my enameled cast iron Lodge Dutch Oven,stew pot, which I love, by the way. I have the Caribbean blue version, and it looks beautiful on the stove even when I am not cooking. Of course you could get all super fancy on us, and buy the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron French Ovenversion, which is the superstar of enameled pots! Oh! Get on with your bad super chef self! I can't touch that!
Back to preparing leeks, be sure to slice them lengthwise first, and fan out the layers as you run water down inside the veggie. This is to dislodge any sand, or dirt particles, that may have gotten trapped inside. I placed the chopped leeks, chopped celery, and two of the carrots, which happened to be the dark red organic carrots, inside my big soup pot. I held back a few slices as a garnish for the plate, since the red carrots have that cool sunburst design inside. Psychedelic baby!
I then sauteed the veggies without using any oil. You do this because it is much healthier of course! As the water from the veggies steams out, you then you add a bit of spring water to steam them till they saute and wilt. Add your spices to the pot, then stir a few times. Smells good right? Mmmm I know. Now pour in your box of organic low sodium vegetable broth, or your own homemade broth. Bring to a boil, then lower temp to a simmer.
While the covered soup is heating up on the stove at a simmer, go peel 10 carrots. Just zen out with your peeler. Think about Unicorns for awhile. If the carrots are organic, you can just scrub them really well. The Unicorns are dancing in the forest now.
Let's make carrot juice using my Breville Juice Processor which made a quick cup and a half of carrot juice from those 10 carrots. Mmm looks good! I really want to drink that right now!!! I bet those Unicorns want some too!
Stroll back over to the stove and pour the fresh carrot juice right in your soup! Pretty.
If you do not have a juicer just chop the carrots and place in the soup to cook down till soft. Either way, cover the pot, and let your soup simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then you are going to let it cool way down before placing into a blender. Reserve some of your cooked chunks of carrot, celery and leeks and set aside if you would like some of these chunky bits in your final soup dish.
Warning! Do not place hot soup in blender. See that soft plastic lid on mine, it got so hot from the soup, that I am getting the shivers thinking about anyone turning the blender on and burning themselves. Noooooo, do not do it. Danger Will Robinson! Please pour the soup you are going to blend into another pot or large bowl first to cool down. I wish I had the awesome Vitamix 5200s blender for this task! Oh yeah baby! This is the year we are getting one, with all the extras too! I just know it! Anyway, while you are waiting for the soup to cool, you can use this time to place your 1/2 cup of cashews into a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor, or Black & Decker Coffee Grinder /spice grinder, and make a cashew powder. I do have a Black and Decker coffee/spice grinder, and that is what I chose to use for the task. This works great for grinding the whole flax seeds into powder too. Speaking of flax, let's make some golden flax powder now as well.
Okay, now take your cooled down soup mixture, and pour to the halfway point in your blender container. It will take a couple of batches to blend smooth all the soup you have made. Patience. Pour in some of the coconut milk, ginger, flax powder, and cashew powder, each time you blend a batch. As you finish each blended carrot leek cashew coconut soup mixture, then pour this back into your big soup pot. If you have an immersion blender Cuisinart Smart Stick you can avoid the extra steps and mix right in your soup pot! Just be sure the stick is fully immersed before you blend! (Thanks for the heads up Tamera!)
Once you have returned all the soup back into your big soup pot, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into your soup. If you reserved some chunky bits of cooked chopped celery, leek, and carrot, you can add those back in at this time as well. Stir and warm up the creamy goodness. Use your own judgement about how you like the thickness of your soup, whether or not to add any more coconut milk, since there should be some left in the box. Be sure to serve this soup with whole cashews thrown into each bowl. Oh yes, see me toss them in with delight! Seriously the crunch of the cashews goes fantastic with these flavors.
So there it is! One of my best food creations ever! If you have the time to try making this carrot, leek, cashew, coconut soup, you will be so very happy with yourself! It is now completely up to you, if you decide to share it with the Unicorns. Enjoy!