Monday, January 20, 2014

Coconut Carrot Soup

The arctic freeze has left the building, leaving me with the desire to go see Frozen and never watch The Day After Tomorrow ever again (too real, too real). But if there's one  thing I've learned, winter isn't done for at least another two months. As such, the theme of warm foods will continue! Or at least for this post with Shutterbean's coconut carrot soup.

Fun fact: my pantry is huge, it's a walk-in closet with built in shelves and drawers. Absolutely fabulous for all the random things like food and vacuum cleaners that must live there with the microwave, coffee maker and miscellaneous cleaning supplies. My pantry was also attacked by pantry moths last year (and the year before that) and despite having just about everything in plastic boxes, little moths still managed to survive in places like cupcake wrappers (don't worry, those were thrown out). The other neat thing about my pantry is it has no heat. My house has radiator heat so no radiator, no warmth and according to my recent energy evaluation, no insulation. Which means it gets very cold in the pantry during an arctic freeze, hopefully cold enough to blast those little pantry moths away.

This grows in my landlady's garden. Yet to be identified but appears very resilient

The point is, lots of things freeze in sub-freezing temperatures such as olive oil and coconut milk. What, your olive oil didn't turn into a slushy mess? That's fortunate, clearly you are warm. At this point, broth and coconut milk are kept well-stocked in my pantry and I was intrigued to find the coconut milk partially frozen. The coconut milk separates into the liquid and cream parts and the cream part turned into a dense chalky mess. Fortunately, one of the many benefits to soup is everything gets thrown together so it didn't really matter that they were separated like that. If we were making fish curry, then I may have been concerned (but probably  not).

I made this soup last month (and apparently forgot to blog about it...) and thought it had a nice spice to it but I wanted more so for this round, I doubled the spicy sauce stuff. Boy does that pack a punch! I also used regular carrots instead of baby carrots. Usually I keep baby carrots around for hummus purposes but they really are a pain to chop for soups and stews because they're already so tiny. And then I started wondering what they do to carrots to make them baby and I decided the snowman nose carrots were a better choice moving forward.

Lots of baby carrots. Definitely easier with regular carrots

One of my favorite things about making soup is I don't have to chop the onion into oblivion. I really would like to chop onions better for stews because I just end up with chunks of onion or onion skins. However, with soup, they're all going to the same blended place so it doesn't matter! I also got a little carried away with the blending this time around so the soup came out a little frothy and light. Perhaps that was the frozen coconut milk talking, who knows!

The spice may have been a bit much so if you like spicy, I would recommend adding less than double the amount of spice but more than the recipe originally calls for. I added cilantro to my soup as a way to cool it down or at least provide my mouth a crisp break from the soup.

Now that's what I call spice

Get pumped because after soups comes stews and then chili season! The Super Bowl is almost here and that means Souper Bowl contests (yes, plural). Get pumped. And get pumped for all the guacamole and buffalo chicken dip you are going to consume. If you don't have a party together, find a bar. There is no reason to miss out on dips and chili!

The final product, in all its glory
Oh and I've gone on a spree of subscribing to food newsletters. This one provided soup recipes because I'm clearly unoriginal. Check them out!

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