carrot ginger soup

You’d think, from reading this blog, that I’m cooking non-stop, all the time, 24/7. A pie here, a pizza there, and lots of pasta and salads in between. And it’s true. I do love to cook. And photographing and writing about it comes easily.

But I have off days too. Like when I look up at the clock, realize it’s 7:30 pm and “oh f#%k”, it’s dinner again? I have to cook another meal NOW?

This happened last week. I had an amazing day with two clients, taking them around Rome on a culinary tour. Or should I just go ahead and say it: a total Roman pig out. We started with cappuccino and then went on to: pizza bianca, Campo dei Fiori grazing, prosciutto, lard and salame, more pizza bianca, cheese, wine, more pizza bianca, pastries, 3 course lunch, caffee doppio con panna and finally gelato.

No wonder by the time 7:30 rolled around, the the last thing I wanted to think about was dinner. But I knew I’d get hungry eventually. And I really knew Domenico (who had also been working all day, but not my kind of ‘working’) would be expecting something that looked like dinner.

Sine my tummy was full – bordering on over full – I wanted something light, comforting yet somehow curative. I wandered over to the vegetable store and the big box of carrots looked just right. I’ve never thought much about carrots having a season, but right now they are super sweet and I’ve been munching on them raw all week long.

Once home I simply added a bit of onion and a ton of fresh ginger. The ginger part was playing the role of curative here, helping to settle my tummy. If my hunger had been bigger (or my stomach less tender) I would have added a bunch of Indian spices too, as well as garlic. But i wanted this soup to be sweet, slightly tangy and definitely not challenging on the cooking or taste front.

Prepping and cooking time took at the most 20 minutes. So even though I was exhausted by my day of ‘work’, I had dinner on the table like the good Italian housewife that I am. We ate the soup warm (with a salad that will show up later this week) but fyi I had leftovers the next day, chilled, and it was delicious with a dollop of yogurt swirled in.

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 kilo/2 pound of carrots
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
1 large chunk of ginger (about a inch long piece)
3 cups light broth
2 cups water
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
orange and lemon peel, grated

Chop onions and add to soup pot with oil. Add about a tsp of salt, and heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Don’t let brown.
Add chopped ginger, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add carrots, which you have peeled and chopped roughly. Stir.
Add broth and then just enough water to cover.
Raise heat and cook until carrots are quite soft. About 15 minutes.
Turn off heat, add juices, and puree. (I use an immersible blender) Stir and taste. If the soup seems too thick, add a bit more water. Adjust for salt.
Serve hot or cold, garnished with orange and lemon rind.

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