Friday, February 11, 2011

Shredded Carrot and Parsnip Curry Soup

It's that time of year when you just can't stand to wear the same old sweaters you've been wearing all winter or eat the same old soup. I was craving something different. No more mild, creamy, pale purees. I wanted bold flavors, bright colors, and a different texture.  

Somehow I got the idea to try a soup of shredded vegetables with lots of ginger and a colorful confetti of carrots and parsnips. 

The shredded vegetables brought to mind the garnish of Southeast Asian dishes, which directed the soup's flavor toward a curry, with lots of cumin, some curry powder and paprika, and a dash of cayenne.

To thicken the soup, I used a third of a cup of brown rice, which I sauteed in a generous amount of oil before adding the spices and shredded vegetables. When they had started to soften, I added in a can of coconut milk and 4 cups of vegetable stock, and then let the soup simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes until the rice and vegetables were soft and the flavors had melded.

The final soup were deliciously fragrant, spicy, and colorful with a pleasant texture. A welcome antidote for the end of winter blahs. 

Shredded Carrot and Parsnip Curry Soup

4 carrots
3 parsnips
2 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup brown rice
3 Tbsp neutral oil, such as grape seed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
4 cups vegetable broth
salt to taste

1. Peel the carrots, parsnips, and ginger. Shred them in a food processor. Mince the garlic.

2. Heat the oil in a soup pot. Stir in the brown rice and saute until it starts to smell toasted. Add in the spices and garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the shredded vegetables and ginger and stir for a few minutes until well coated with spices. Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 45 minutes to an hour until the rice is soft. Adjust seasonings. Enjoy.

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