How many times were you told as a child to eat your carrots so you’d have good eyesight? The goods news is that this isn’t an old wives tale. The amazing amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene in carrots does benefit vision. In fact, the antioxidant beta-carotene was named after carrots.
If you were anything like me, you ate plenty of carrots sticks as an afternoon snack, and carrots were the first vegetable to disappear when eating a salad as a kid. But I have to admit that I grew bored of raw carrots and had a hard time finding ways to enjoy them as an adult—which was particularly unfortunate considering they are available all year. This carrot soup changed my entire perspective on the vegetable. The flavor that sometimes hides behind their crunch when raw is enhanced tenfold when made into a soup. While many recipes require cream to thicken the soup, this recipe calls for rolled oats—a healthy whole grain that deserves to be in everyone’s balanced diet. Good hot and cold, this decadent soup can be enjoyed all year round.
“Creamy” Carrot Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion (about 3/4 pound), cut into medium dice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2–inch rounds
5 cups stock
1/4 cup rolled oats
Lemon juice, to taste
Ginger juice, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
- In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Sweat until onions are softened (about 5 to 8 minutes). Stir often to prevent browning.
- Add the carrots, cover pot, and cook over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir to prevent browning.
- Add stock and oats to pot. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes, covered, until carrots are very tender.
- Blend the soup in a blender or food processor until creamy. Add additional stock to desired consistency.
- Add lemon and ginger juices, and cumin to taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Creamy Carrot and Dill Soup. Mix 1 cup finely chopped fresh dill with the lemon and ginger juices, and cumin. Garnish with chopped dill.
- Creamy Carrot-Ginger Soup. After adding and cooking the carrots, add 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger with the stock and oats.
- Curried Carrot Soup. After adding and cooking the carrots, add 1 tablespoon mild curry paste or 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder with the stock and oats.
So, here’s the thing: not all carrots are orange! So don’t be surprised during your next trip to the farmers’ market, as you might discover yellow, white, red, and purple carrots alongside the common orange. They each vary slightly in flavor profile and size, but they’re all sweet, crunchy goodness.
Once the carrot breaks down a bit in heat, it actually provides more of its signature vitamin A than when raw. Vitamin A helps eyes, skin, immune system, and many other parts of the body grow and stay healthy. Try steaming or roasting carrots for maximum nutritional value. This two-thousand-year-old Middle Eastern vegetable was once grown for medicine, not food. Now you can have it both ways.
For more information on carrots check out the Yoffie Life Food Encyclopedia page on carrots.
Whole, bagged carrots will keep in your refrigerator crisper for up to two weeks. If you purchase loose carrots with tops, remove the greens immediately, as they deplete the roots of vitamins and moisture. Then store the unwashed carrots in a sealed plastic bag for up to two weeks.