Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I enjoy making soup. To me, the creation of soup feels closely akin to the organic, spontaneous style of abstract expressionist artists like Jackson Pollock. (Incidentally, you should check out this nifty Pollock simulator.) The idea of frolicking through ones pantry and emerging with vegetables and spices and other goodies that, at first thought, might not be combined but somehow meld, at the gentle urging of a well-wielded ladle, into a beautiful and surprising taste revel.

Or something. Sadly, my first attempt at this recipe-less venture resulted in a sloppy and unattractive pot o' mush (which my wonderful husband bravely downed, insisting that it wasn't quite as awful as I declared it). So now I stick with recipes, at least to start off. And I have quite a stash of soup recipes waiting to be tackled.

Today's creation resulted in a gingered carrot soup. I'm not a huge fan of ginger, but the combination sounded intriguing. Plus, who can pass up orange soup? Besides, it meant that I got to use my brand new blender, so I signed on. The original recipe called for one-and-a-half cups of orange juice and one-half cup of fat-free half-and-half. I thought that sounded like too much orange, and I didn't have any half-and-half on hand.

Similarly, I had no crystallized ginger, so I used about one-half of a tablespoon of ginger spice. That was a bit much -- I would recommend one-quarter tablespoon instead. Then again, I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to ginger. I always think I love it, but it is a juggernaut of a taste for me. As a result, when I took my first sips of this soup, I didn't like it. But as I slurped on, the taste grew on me, so that by the time I reached the bottom of the bowl I decided that I like this concoction quite a bit.

Gingered Carrot Soup

1 pound chopped carrots
2 cups chicken broth/base
1/4 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
juice from one orange
1/2 cup yogurt, divided (I used fat-free vanilla)

In a stock pot, combine the carrots, base, ginger, and cinnamon. Simmer for forty to sixty minutes, or until the carrots are cooked and tender. Transfer the concoction to a blender/food processor. Add the orange juice and 1/4 cup of yogurt. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Serve warm, stirring in the remaining yogurt. This can also be eaten as a cooled gazpacho.

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