When it comes to looking-but-not-buying, most women go for expensive clothes, shoes, and handbags. An entire day can be spent longingly admiring – sometimes even touching- but not buying. Because at the end of the day, we know we don’t really need these things.
Sometimes, I wander the grocery store aisle-shopping for expensive food. My hand reaches out to pricey organic and ethnic soups, sauces, spices and sides. My fingers run over the pretty labels as my eyes scan the description and nutritional information, but I’m quick to decide if the item is ridiculously overpriced. I might tell myself I could easily make it at home for cheaper, or even try to convince myself that it can’t be that good. And back to the shelf it goes. Sometimes I come back on a subsequent trip and see if it’s still there and still looks good, but it’s always still overpriced and I move on.
One such food item was a carrot, cashew and ginger soup. It sounded deliciously different, but priced at over $1 per serving, I just couldn’t be convinced it was worth it – though I continued to pass it buy most times I visited this one particular store. So when a soup by the same name showed up on Branny Boils Over, my first thought was, “I need to make this.” Actually, that was my second thought. The first was, “Why didn’t I think of that first?!”
I realized it was not all that different from my Spicy Butternut Peanut Soup that we love so much. The carrot soup went right on my to-make list, but got pushed to the top as soon as I discovered the amazing chili-lime cashews sold at Trader Joe’s. I imagined these make for a wonderful spin on this soup. Ironically, these cashews were one of my previous touch-but-not-buy items, until my friend Vanessa pureed them into a fabulous dip with tofu (a recipe I’ll need to share with you someday!). I knew I needed my own bag, and that they needed to go into this carrot soup!
We really enjoyed the flavors of this soup, although one thing I think would make it even better would be roasting the carrots to bring out their natural sweetness. I think that contrast in flavor with the spices here would be very welcome. However, as the recipe stands, it’s very quick to prepare so it’s a great pick for a weeknight meal. Roasting would tack on some time, but I think it’s worth a try it when I have a little more.
Adapted from Branny Boils Over, originally from the New Moosewood Cookbook
2 lb peeled, sliced carrots
5 cups water
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s chili-lime cashews
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 1 minute more. Season with the salt, cumin, curry powder, and cinnamon and stir to combine.
Add the carrots and the water, and increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add cashews and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor. Add lemon juice just before serving.
Makes 4 large main course servings, or 6 first course or side dish servings.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 149.0 mg
Total Carbs: 23.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.5 g
Protein: 4.6 g