Have you ever picked carrots? If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or a farm nearby where you can take the kids to pick carrots, it’s one of the most fun vegetables to harvest. Part of it is the mystery of what you’re going to pull up… Underneath the leafy green stalks, what kind of carrot are you going to find? Will it be a short and stubby one, or a perfectly shaped long one (victory!)? Or even better, one of those human-like carrots with legs?
Last week we picked a bumper crop of carrots at a friend’s garden and although none looked like they were going to get up and walk away, they did look mighty fresh and tasty. Usually when we get a big bunch of carrots we chop them into carrot sticks for the week’s lunches. But this time we decided to go off the rails a little bit and make a super-quick, super-tasty carrot soup.
This soup can be served warm or cold so it’ll work just fine if you’re having one of those crazy-hot spring days that we seem to be seeing a lot of these days. Also, you can puree the whole thing, but our kids like the soup with chunks of carrot in it so we usually leave about 1/4 of the soup mixture unblended.
Coconut Carrot Soup
2 T. olive oil
5 large fresh carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
1 T. garam masala (you can adjust the spiciness based on your family’s preference)
32 ounces or 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, and saute while gently stirring for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onion, celery, potatoes, and garam masala and continue sauteeing for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are soft and translucent. Add the broth and coconut milk, bring the soup to a boil, and then simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are very soft.
Carefully transfer the soup in small batches to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (You may leave part of the soup unblended if you like chunks of carrot). Serve hot or cold; serves 6.
Note: Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A and the antioxidant nutrient beta-carotene. If you’re looking for a great way to start your kids on vegetables, carrots are a good choice for their sweet and crunchy taste and their high nutritional value. When we have fresh carrots like these, we scrub them really well but we don’t peel them; we leave the rugged outer edge on for a little extra nutritional value. Also note – if your carrots still have the greens on top, remove the greens before you put the carrots in the refrigerator to keep the carrots from wilting. You can store the greens in the refrigerator too, just store them separately (and use them within 1-2 days.)