Ginger Carrot Soup

This is probably the recipe that eased me into liking carrots.  Actually, scratch that.  This recipe is what eased me into liking carrot roots since I’ve actually loved carrot tops for a long time now.  They’re my favorite addition to green smoothies- they taste like freshness in a glass.  Some people say they’re poisonous or toxic, but that seems to be just a myth.

Anyways, back to this soup.  It’s a great complement to a cleanse or detox due to the healthy dose of ginger and cinnamon, both of which have a warming effect according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It’s especially important to include warming foods, herbs and spices during cleanses when you’re consuming a lot of raw vegetables through salads, juices and smoothies, all of which are very cooling.

The actual prep for the soup is pretty quick; if you buy peeled baby carrots, it’ll be a snap.  The soup gets a nice dose of creaminess from canned coconut milk and a pop of fresh flavor from a sprinkling of cilantro leaves.

Ginger Carrot Soup

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 5 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger, grated (freezing the ginger makes it easier to grate)
* 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
* 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
* 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
* 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
* salt and pepper
* up to 1 cup coconut milk (optional)
* cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and allspice and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and stir to coat. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Add the broth, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are soft. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and coconut milk (if using) and add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with cilantro.

Note: Feel free to omit the coconut milk if you prefer. Or you could just swirl in a small amount of coconut milk for a garnish along with the cilantro.