The other day a friend asked for “my butternut squash soup” recipe and while I was flattered that she came to me, I actually don’t have one as part of my repertoire. But having cooked in so many different venues and criss-crossing over cultural cuisine lines I simply adapted a recipe that I used to make for the deli I managed. That recipe was a sweet potato, carrot and ginger soup with Thai ingredients like coconut milk, lime juice and cilantro. It is phenomenal and the best seller at the deli.
Inspired by converting that recipe to a butternut squash one, I looked in my pantry and saw that I could make my own variation, with carrots as the primary ingredient and red potatoes to substitute for the sweet potato. As usual, Thai flavors stand up to substitution and it was a wonderful soup that I whipped up in 30 minutes. The trick to making a quick soup from scratch is chopping the hard vegetables (carrots, potatoes) in very small dice so that they boil in 5-7 minutes.
No matter which orange vegetable you use – carrot, sweet potato, or butternut squash – this is a gorgeous soup, visually and on your tongue.
Thai Carrot Ginger Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger (about size large thumb)
1 onion, diced
4 large carrots, diced fine
2 fist size potatoes (red or yellow) diced fine
4 cups water (or 2 cups plus can of coconut milk)
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
salt and pepper
Saute onion in olive oil until tender and translucent in large sauce pan. Add carrots and saute another 5 minutes. Add ginger and cook another minute. Add potatoes and water and bring to boil. If using coconut milk, add now as well. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes and carrots mush easily when pressed against side of pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes (or add 1 cup ice cubes to the cooked soup, stir to melt). Process in batches in blender until smooth. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.