The Christmas decorations were still staring at me, along with a few extra pounds and some left over fruit from all the festivities. My body was screaming for fruits and vegetables and, with several gloomy days in a row, my spirit was craving color.
Fruity, nutty carrot soup was born.
This soup is beautiful from beginning to end.
The vegetables are carrots and leeks and the fruits are blood orange, pear, and a sprinkling of pomegranate.
The pomegranates is a nice surprise, juicy and nutty, and at the same time, adding texture.
My first attempt at this soup wasn’t what I envisioned, a little too thick resembling mush. I remade the soup, using almond milk to get a thinner texture, and I added another layer of crunch with toasted sliced almonds.
My new and improved version was so good that he never got more than a spoonful. I’m not bragging. I’m just happy that I decided to remake it and that my effort paid off.
Even though I was craving the taste of carrots and fruit, I needed to cut the “sweet“ with heat and use a small dollop of hot chile sauce.
Almond milk, is a surprisingly good choice for thinning down the soup to make it creamy, and the nice surprise was a subtle taste of the almond which led me to garnish with toasted almonds.
The result was a happy balance, as you can taste each ingredient. When I tried a spoonful, I tasted carrot, then I tasted, the pear, the leek, the almond, and a tiny bit of ginger and orange, followed by two unique textures from the pomegranate and toasted almond slices.
A powerful antioxidant with many health benefits, this is possibly the most ancient fruit known to man. Many people know more about the juice, less about the fruit, because it can pose a challenge to eat. Please don’t let that stop you.
To open a pomegranate: Roll over counter with some pressure, or use meat pounder or hammer all around the fruit. You are causing the fruit inside to retract from the peel. Then, with a knife (OVER A BOWL) slice vertically and open the fruit with both hands. You may need to wear an apron your first time, as the juice can stain. The little pomegranate seeds should be easily loosened into the bowl. Only loosen what you’re going to eat. Wrap the rest. It should keep for several days.
- 1 pound carrots
- ½ blood orange, (peeled, reserving rind for some zest)
- 1 large leek (reserve a few slices for garnish)
- few sprigs thyme or basil (each work equally well)
- organic vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup almond milk (you can substitute regular milk or cream)
- Toasted, slivered almonds
- sprinkling of pomegranate
- sea salt, pepper
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon chile sauce
- Chop carrots into big chunks. Put in large dutch oven sized pot.
- Cut off stalk and end of leek, using white part only.
- Clean well: Hold vertically, run under water, squeezing dirt out. Slice, thinly.
- Peel, seed ½ blood orange. Squeeze juice over carrots, add remaining pulp to pot.
- Add carrots, leeks, orange to large pot, add salt and pepper.
- Cover with about 3 inches of water or vegetable broth (see recipe under notes) in large pot bring to boil and cook, just until carrots are soft.
- Use blender or emulsion blender right in the pot. Start streaming in almond milk.
- Add more broth if needed.Measure chile sauce and add. Blend thoroughly and taste. Add more as desired.
- Season to taste. Garnish with orange zest, pomegranate seeds, and toasted almonds.
My preference is to make my own vegetable broth. Whenever you have a little left over (uncooked vegetable) wrap, freeze and save for vegetable broth.
Organic vegetables can be expensive. Purchase when specially discounted or specially priced in bulk. The next best thing is produce from your local farmer, which may not be organic, but a great second choice.
Coarsely chop all or any mix of the following:
Veggies: carrots with tops, onions, shallots, celery with leaves, peppers,
turnips, yellow beets, yams, fennel with leaves
Herbs: basil, mint, thyme, dill, chives, sea salt, pepper
Wrap in cheesecloth, boil in water.