gulp. it’s officially winter. okay not quite, but i’m already wondering if it’s too soon to bust out my parka – i hate feeling that chill whenever i go outside. that means it’s time to hibernate for the next 5 months, which will actually be a good thing. since i hate going out in the winter, i’ll drink a lot less, hopefully head to the gym a bit more, and be able to finish that list of books i’ve wanted to read since forever ago. this also marks the start of the season where i eat nothing but soups and curries for the next 5 months. i know i just posted a soup recipe like a week ago, but it’s what i’m eating the most of right now since it’s so damn comforting and healthy!
i’m especially excited about this soup because it’s so good for your immune system – especially right now when it’s cold season and the weather is all over the place. now, you all know this isn’t a “health” blog, but i truly believe in the powers that food have to heal the body. garlic, ginger, herbs, veggies, acids – they all have these amazing properties that help nourish, heal and strengthen your immune system. i’m always that crazy lady that tells people to eat a clove of raw garlic when they’re sick. sure, you’ll be burping garlic for a day or two, but it has the ability to boost your immune system and fight off your cold faster. the only good thing about winter is that it’s super easy to be filling up on all of these foods that are healthy for your body – because you can pack them all into a bowl of soup!
good soup is essentially 4 things – onions, garlic, veggies and broth. my kind of soup is filled with tonssss of onions and garlic – i’m talking like 6 cloves of garlic and at least 1-2 onions (which are high in maganese which ALSO fights off cold and flu). this basic carrot soup is no different – but in addition to the ridiculous amounts of garlic and onion is lots of fresh ginger (obviously good for you) and chilli – which help fight infections. the result is this super flavourful and healthy batch of soup you can feel good about eating. and of course, the healthier the soup, the more toppings you can eat on it! i think that the toppings are actually the best part – i love finding the garnishes that really bring the soup together. this time i topped the soup with a dollop of pesto (which adds tons of brightness), chilli oil (cause you can never have enough heat – especially in these temps!), and fried bread crumbs to add a bit of texture. you can play around with your toppings though – i feel like anything goes! a drop of plain yogurt, some cumin sprinkled on top, or even a handful of fresh parsley is amazing!
this soup only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish – you can totally make a batch tonight just in time to bring to work tomorrow.
carrot soup + pesto, fried bread crumbs and chilli
2 small white onions, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 2lb bag of carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 big pinch chilli flakes
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs fried in a bit of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon of pesto (i used store bought!)
heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. i love to use my staub 5L cocotte for this! add the garlic and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium low heat until beginning to soften. add the ginger and chilli and cook until fragrant. add the carrots and toss. cover with broth and bring to a boil. reduce to low heat and simmer until carrots are very soft.
transfer to a food processor and pulse until combined. with motor running, slowly add the cream if using.* transfer back to pot and warm over low heat (but don’t boil).
to serve, transfer to bowls and top with pesto, breadcrumbs and hot oil.
*you don’t have to use the cream – just add a bit more broth to thin!