We’re Cooking: Coconut Carrot Ginger soup with Ginger Lump Crab Meat and Cilantro Oil

I continue tweaking and reinventing the carrot ginger soup I made for the first time a few months ago, adding new layers of flavor with the addition of fennel, leeks, a punch of wasabi, marrying well with the spicy ginger and fresh carrot flavor. When we cooked dinner with Chef Darren McGrady a few weeks ago we had made a gorgeous green fresh pea soup which he added a mound of gingered lump crab meat to it.  Taking inspiration from Chef Darren, I did this Coconut Carrot Ginger soup, topped with lump crab meat and garnished with a swoop of cilantro oil, as the starter for a 10 person dinner the other evening. It was as vibrant and appetizing visually as it was to eat. The simple addition of lite coconut milk with the carrots, fennel, garlic and ginger created a distinct Asian flavor for  the soup, which then enhanced the flavors of the crab gently folded together with freshly grated ginger, lime and cilantro.  A delicious pairing of Pinot Gris from King Estate elevated the citrus, spice and herb flavors in the dish, while marrying well with the fresh shellfish.

Recipe:

Coconut Carrot Ginger soup with Fresh Ginger Lump Crab Meat and Cilantro Oil
Ingredients:
For the soup –
1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
10 large carrots, peeled, tips removed and chopped
1 large fennel bulb, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 4 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cups carrot juice
3 cups vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock, but the pure veggie taste will be masked a bit with a chicken undertone)
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can coconut milk, we used “lite”
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper

For the crab –
1/2 pound lump crab meat, picked through for shells
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated very fine
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

For the oil –
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 bunch cilantro
Zest of 1 lime
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a large Dutch over over medium heat. Add the carrots, fennel, onion and peppers. Saute, adding just a touch or two of water if needed, stirring often as the veggies soften. About 10 minutes. When the veggies are starting to soften and caramelize add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste and lime. Continue to stir often, cooking the flavors together for another 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, but start with about 2 teaspoons of salt, one of pepper.  Add the carrot juice and stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile combine the crab with the other ingredients in a small bowl, gently folding together, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Add the ingredients for the cilantro oil to a blender and pulse together until well combine. Pour into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
When the soup has simmered use an immersion or regular blender and blend the soup until very smooth. Return the soup to a simmer and whisk in the coconut milk and fresh herbs. Keep the soup on simmer until ready to serve. Adjust any final seasoning and ladle the soup into a wide soup bowl, large enough the crab won’t sink to the bottom. Remove the crab from the fridge and add a generous scoop to the center of each bowl. Garnish the edge of the soup with a bit of the oil and serve.

2 thoughts on “We’re Cooking: Coconut Carrot Ginger soup with Ginger Lump Crab Meat and Cilantro Oil

  1. This has to be the best carrot and ginger soup I have ever made. I overdid the ginger in the soup a bit, but that’s what I get for eyeballing it and thinking “more is better”. VERY expensive, however, and labor intensive. Nonetheless, this will be one of my “go-to” soups for the rest of my life. Great recipe for summer when my herb garden is flourishing. At least that part was free! Wish I had the fresh herbs in winter because this is a year-round special dish. Can’t wait to taste it tomorrow cold. I’m thinking lunch. If I can wait that long. Thanks so much.

    • Kathryn,
      Thanks so much! I know it isn’t the easiest of my recipes, but it is delicious. So glad you enjoyed it. We did make this for a special dinner party, so wanted to used high quality ingredients. You can substitute a single seared scallop or even a piece of flaky white fish marinated in the lime, ginger and wine then quickly seared if you wanted a less expensive fish option. Also for your herbs, when you have a plethora of them in the summer pick a bunch and blanch them, pulse them in a food processor with a bit or water and pour the mixture into ice trays and freeze. Use a cube or two whenever a recipe calls for herbs, you’ll have fresh herb flavors year round!

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