We’re Cooking: Spicy Carrot-Ginger Soup

We did a lot of cooking over the holidays, with friends and family joining us throughout the month to raise a glass, play a song and mainly, come together in celebration of the season.  This quick and easy soup is both delicious, and figure friendly if your New Year’s resolution involves healthy, low-fat eating.


Spicy Carrot-Ginger Soup
1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
8 large carrots – top and end removed, scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion – chopped
2 stalks celery – chopped
1 leak – chopped and cleaned well
1 large jalapeno – chopped (we left the seeds and ribs in because we like the heat, adjust for your taste)
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro – plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
5 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock to keep it vegan)
2 cups fat-free half and half, milk or cream
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.  Add the carrots, onion, leak, jalapeno and celery.  Cook, stirring continuously, for 5-7 minutes as the veggies start to soften.  Add the ginger, garlic and season generously with salt and pepper (about 1 tablespoon of each).  Cook for another 3 minutes then add the remaining dried spices and cook together for another 3 minutes, adding a bit of stock if the veggies start to stick.  Add remaining stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the fresh herbs.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the veggies are very tender.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly then blend to a smooth consistency using a hand blender or food processor.  Bring the soup back up to a simmer and whisk in the half and half.  Simmer until ready to serve (at least 5-10 minutes so the flavors combine.)   Serve in big soup bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and a few pomegranate seeds.