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September 13, 2009

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Welcome, autumn. September brings my favorite weather, and my favorite season of cooking and eating. Summer’s herbs and leafy greens are still hanging on alongside hearty squash and root vegetables. Lately, my CSA farmer has bombarded me with carrots. The gnarly, irregular roots are sweet and taste of local soil. As the evenings turn cold, my mind shifts from salad to soup as I consider how to use up this bounty of carrots.

A quick search turns up lots of delicious recipes for curried carrot soup. What makes this one special is the addition of sweet potato and a swirl of cool, rich coconut almond cream. Use ginger, black pepper, and your favorite curry powder to create a sweet, spicy, and warming fall soup.

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium sweet potato, cubed (about 2 cups)
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch lengths (about 4 cups)
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 Tablespoons smooth almond butter (peanut or cashew are okay, too)
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add ginger and saute another minute. Add sweet potato, carrots, curry powder, cinnamon, and broth, and stir until seasoning is evenly distributed. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium low, maintaining a gentle simmer.

While soup simmers, whisk together coconut milk and nut butter and set aside.

Simmer soup until carrots and sweet potato can be easily pierced with a fork, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender, or in small batches in a traditional blender. Reheat soup and ladle into bowls. Top each serving with a generous drizzle of coconut almond cream and black pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Mary Lake is a writer, teacher, columnist for MF&L, and vegetarian blogger: Mitten Machen.

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