Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tip 13: Drink your veggies, part 2

Maybe green drinks aren't your thing, or you just can't give up eggs -- it's all good. But if you like the idea of pre-pulverized veggies down the hatch, there's another way.


Soup is good food. Whether you heard it from Campbell's or the Dead Kennedy's first, you heard it here. Cooking vegetables into soup retains more nutrients than baking or sauteeing, and if you puree them, you're helping your body to digest more of them as well.

There is something about drinking soup that is healing. And there is something about making soup that is calming too -- first, you can use all the odds and ends in your fridge up; second, you can make it while you are doing other things; third, it makes your house smell like a home; fourth, it is just plain tasty. Satisfying but not weighty. Healthy, but not austere.

There is a soup for all seasons, and this one is perfect for warm days that turn cool at night, for the time of year you want to shed the hibernating ways but still crave an extra dose of comfort. Carrots provide an of the charts dose of vitamin A, night vision enhancing beta-carotene and help regulate blood sugar. Tests show that a diet containing as little as one carrot a day can cut the rate of lung cancer in half.

Combine them with curry, celeriac for an anchoring smoothness and ginger for kick, and this is a spring palate in a bowl. Ginger gives it an anti-inflammatory benefit, while aiding digestion. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Top the whole thing with mint -- another tummy soother -- and you've got a dish beautiful enough for a black tie luncheon date with Bugs Bunny.

Sound too good to be true?

Wait until you taste it.

Curried Carrot Soup

2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
1 lb  carrots, preferably organic
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and rough chopped
1/2 celeriac root, peeled and rough chopped
1 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
coarse salt

Heat oil in heavy stock pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions and saute until translucent and beginning to soften. Add a pinch of salt and the curry powder (my favorite is Dean and Deluca blend, I buy it by the tub full). Stir to combine then add ginger, celeriac and carrots, cornstarch and stir again. Roast about 4 minutes to sweat the vegetables and ignite the curry. Add vegetable broth and water if needed to cover vegetables.

Simmer gently until vegetables are soft, then use an immersion blender or food processor to puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if you wish, and top with chopped mint.


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