This carrot and ginger soup recipe demonstrates “Top Chef” contestant and cohost of “The Chew” Carla Hall’s deft touch with nourishing ingredients. It’s also the type of healthy everyday food she favors that leaves room for some well-chosen indulgences. She uses herbal tea bags as bouquet garni to infuse flavor and silken tofu instead of heavy cream to give this carrot soup body. Unsweetened carrot juice underscores the flavor of the fresh carrots while coconut water adds a subtle tropical note. “Using vegetable and fruit juices in addition to or in place of stock is another way to add layers of flavor,” says Hall.
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened carrot juice (freshly juiced or bottled)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
- 3 high-quality lemon-ginger tea bags
- 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut into ¼-inch slices
- 2 dried chiles, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup silken tofu
- 1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut, toasted
- Zest of 1 lime
Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add tea bags, ginger and dried chiles. Reduce heat, and simmer at least 20 minutes.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil. Add carrots, celery, leek and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
Strain stock mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the pot with the vegetables. If you like lots of ginger, add the ginger pieces. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5-7 minutes or until the carrots are tender. In two batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor with half the tofu per batch, until the soup is silky smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Ladle soup into soup bowls. Garnish evenly with toasted coconut and lime zest.
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes