|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
A creamy vegetable soup is always satisfying and an easy way to get your serving of veggies for the day. This version has somewhat of a tropical or Southeast Asian twist with the addition of coconut milk, making it not only a delicious and nutritious soup but also a vegan one since there is no dairy. (It is also soy-free for those with a soy allergy or avoiding any soy products.) With nothing but carrots, coconut milk, and spices, this recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and also gluten-free.
Serve hot for lunch or dinner, or chill and present as a simple yet elegant appetizer soup on a warm evening or as a refreshing lunch on a hot day. It can also be an unexpected but welcome start to the Thanksgiving meal, and if you ladle into hollowed out mini pumpkins, it makes an impressive presentation. If you'd like a little green garnish to add some color, a sprig of fresh parsley or cilantro would be nice.
Add the carrots, onions, ginger, and curry powder to a soup pot and cover with the vegetable broth. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until carrots are soft.
Allow to cool slightly, and then puree in a blender, working in batches if needed.
Return to the heat and stir in coconut milk until well combined.
Season generously with sea salt, to taste.
Serve hot or chill until cold. This carrot soup will thicken as it cools, so if eating this vegan carrot soup cold, you may want to add a bit extra liquid before serving.
Tips and Variations
Making vegetable soups with a smooth consistency is a great way to get reluctant vegetable eaters to enjoy their veggies. But pureeing in batches can be a little time consuming and sometimes messy. If you find yourself cooking this way often enough, it may be worth purchasing an immersion blender. You simply plug in and place the wand directly into the soup pot; then just press the button and whirl away! Creamy, smooth soup without dirtying the blender or food processor. Some immersion blenders even come with various attachments, like a whisk for beating egg whites, making them very versatile.
Although this soup is absolutely delicious as is, it is also the perfect recipe for adding another ingredient, such as a fresh herb. Blending in some fresh parsley, cilantro, or Thai basil will complement the flavors nicely. To add a subtle depth to the soup, include a bit of minced garlic—or you can roast the garlic first, for more of a sweet, nutty taste. If you like spice, a bit of chili or dash of hot sauce will do the trick.
Buying and Storing Coconut Milk
When shopping for coconut milk, you may come across two types: a canned version on the shelves and a carton in the dairy case. It is important that you use canned coconut milk for this recipe and most recipes for that matter. Although both products are labeled "coconut milk," the one in the can—usually found in the Asian food section—is very different from the one in the carton near the milk in the grocery store. The carton coconut milk is for drinking and has been diluted with water while the canned is pure coconut milk.
If you have leftover coconut milk, transfer it from the can to a plastic or glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. It will last a week in the refrigerator, with its taste and texture intact. If you would like to keep it for longer, you can freeze it; however, you will need to blend it before using in a recipe as the coconut milk will separate (the fat and proteins from the liquid) when frozen—and it won't join together when cooked. Once defrosted, simply mix with an immersion blender, or place in a blender or food processor, for just 30 seconds so the coconut milk can re-emulsify. Then use in the recipe as directed.