Creamy Curried Carrot Soup

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Carrots and curry seem made for each other. Throw in a little ginger and you have a great flavor combination. This creamy curried carrot soup has a velvety texture and wonderful spicy heat. It can easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Cream of coconut could also be substituted for the heavy whipped cream. Or you can leave the cream out all together. This soup is wonderfully creamy without it and you may not miss it.

Don’t worry about peeling the carrots for this. A good scrub with a stiff vegetable brush is all they need. If you like a little more heat, increase the amount of curry or use a Madras curry.

Here is what I did:

Creamy Curried Carrot Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cups sliced carrots
1 potato, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or cream of coconut
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Additional salt (if needed)

Directions

Heat the butter in a 5 quart stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery and sauté until onion is translucent; about 10 minutes. Stir in ginger and cook a few minutes. Then add potato and  chicken broth. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover remove from heat.

Add curry powder and using an emersion blender, blend until smooth. Stir in cream and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt if needed. Return to low heat and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Alternatively, you may transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth then return soup to the stock pot or Dutch oven. Stir in cream and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt if needed. Return to low heat and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.

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Thai one on! Panang Tofu Curry

Tofu gets a bad rap. It gets put down without justification. But before you wrinkle your nose. Before you say yuck. Before you say anything let me simply say you must try this tofu dish. Tofu has an amazing ability to absorb the flavors of what ever it is cooked with. In this case it is a spicy chili paste, turmeric, and cumin. Some people are turned off more by the texture but I think tofu can best be described as having a texture like scrambled eggs. Just give it a try. You might like it.

Ingredients

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1 cup water
1 13-½- to 14-ounce can organic light coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves or 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lime peel
1 tablespoon (firmly packed) brown sugar
 14-ounce package organic firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ½ cups ¼- to 1/3-inch-thick slices peeled carrots (about 3 medium)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ¾-inch pieces
 
Directions
 
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, ginger, and garlic; cook until shallots are tender, about 6 minutes. Add peanut butter, turmeric, cumin, and chili paste; stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup water, then coconut milk, lime leaves, and brown sugar; bring to simmer. Season sauce with salt. Add tofu, carrots, and bell pepper; simmer over medium heat until carrots are tender, adjusting heat to medium-low if beginning to boil and occasionally stirring gently, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve over rice. 
I prefer to serve this over brown rice.