So what’s a girl to do when the thermostat says it’s a teeth-chattering -20C outside? (besides put on her thickest wool hat and a fashionable yet sensibly warm sweater, that is) Make soup, of course!
This recipe plays with all the different ways that warmth and heat exist in food. The spicing tends to vary depending on my mood and what’s I happen to grab from the spice rack – sometimes it gets a dash of spicy paprika instead of the cayenne, a few pinches of hot pepper flakes for extra heat, a couple of cloves of roasted garlic if I happen to have some on hand, or ground powdered ginger if I happen to be too lazy to pull out the microplane to grate the fresh. It’s a very forgiving soup, so go ahead… play a little.
It’s delicious served with a swirl of plain yogurt or creme fraiche for a tangy counterpoint to the sweet/spicy flavour, a sprinkling of roughly chopped cilantro to give it freshness, or with a generous pouring of coconut milk to tone down the heat if you’re not in the mood for spice (or heavy cream, if you’re not watching your waistline)
Spiced Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp curry paste
1/4 tsp each cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (~3 cups)
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (~3 cups)
Using a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, saute the onions in olive oil until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ginger, curry paste, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chicken broth, water, sweet potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and puree in batches until smooth.