Since we all turned our clocks back last week, the days have started feeling shorter and shorter, and we're spending more time indoors, huddled in from the cold darkness that falls so early each afternoon. This marks the beginning of soup season. Normally we think of soups and stews as being brothy or cream based, and generally very salty and savory. For this week, I wanted to make use of the Eastern notion that spicy food helps warm the body and made an easy soup to eat all week.
I combined ingredients that I always keep in the pantry (all the spices and the coconut milk) with the last of the seasonal produce (the carrots and jalapenos) to make this rich and comforting soup. The jalapenos give a nice kick while the coconut milk makes it smooth and satisfying.
Spicy Vegan Coconut Carrot Soup with Ginger
2-3 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
3 small yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1-2 jalapenos, to taste, diced (optional)
1 can coconut milk (shake before using)
1-2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1-2 tbsp. curry powder
1/2 c. beer, stock, or water
2-4 tbsp. oil
Start with your carrots. Peel or scrub them well and chop roughly. These carrots are half from the Iowa Valley Food Coop and half from our garden. We grew the squat Parisienne carrots and were really happy with the flavor.
Chop your onions, mince your garlic and ginger.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot with a heavy bottom and add your onions. Season well with salt and pepper.
While you're cooking, you might see the curry powder start to stick to the bottom of the pan. This is fine, but do not let it burn. If it starts to brown too much, add a little of your liquid. We used this beer, thinking the coriander might taste good with the other seasonings. Once your carrots are soft, add your liquid.
Grab your coconut milk.
Serve hot and garnish with the carrot chips and flake coconut.
edited to add: a picture of miss Eleanor loungin' for Sarah