Saturday, October 27, 2012

Carrot Soup with Garam Masala

One of 4 bowls filled with carrots
This soup was inspired by two things.  First, I finished the rest of the pink banana squash for my lunch today and was sad that it was the last of it. (Though I froze some for a treat this winter.)  I had added garam masala, an Indian spice mix, to the squash and tossed it with the left-over tofu I made yesterday with a marinade of tamari(soy sauce), ginger, curry, and garlic.  Delicious combination. So garam masala was on my brain as I looked at the heap of carrots harvested from Tom's garden yesterday.    Hmmm,,,,carrots and garam masala.......

If you aren't familiar with garam masala,  it is a common spice blend from India and Pakistan, and usually consists of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, and black peppercorns.  It is generally a mild, sweet seasoning, but can be spicier, depending on how much black pepper is used, which is the type I had in my cupboard.  

A quick look on-line for pureed carrot soup recipes yielded one that included garam masala at the blog of Three Many Cooks. But it also used olive oil, butter, and whole milk, so I adapted it to fit my dietary needs.  Rather than adding milk or cream at the end, I swirled in plain goat yogurt and found that it was the perfect compliment to the flavors. You could use any type of plain yogurt that you enjoy.  I made only a half-batch of the soup, as I often do when creating something new, but was sorry that I hadn't made a whole batch because I will quickly deplete what remains!  

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 lbs carrots, cut into approximate 1" slices (about 5 cups)    
2 teaspoons sugar
3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 Tablespoons garam masala (If you are unaccustomed with this spice, you might want to use less.)
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn't add either)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large deep saute pan. Add carrots and then onions; saute, stirring very little at first and more frequently at the end, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 - 8 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add sugar and garlic; continue to cook until all vegetables are a rich caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.  Add garam masala; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute more.

Simmering carrots with garam masala
 Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce to low and simmer, partially covered until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Puree in a VitaMix or with an immersion stick.  Ladle into small bowls, and swirl in some plain yogurt.  I used goat yogurt from my friend, Christal, and it was just the right amount to tame the garam masala.  I also added a very tiny sprinkle of ground hazelnuts.  The nutritional analysis doesn't include the yogurt or the nuts.

Soup without the yogurt

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 156
Total Fat: 7 g                                              
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 153 mg
Total Carbs: 21 g
Dietary Fiber: 5
Protein: 3 g

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