Soups seem to be one of those things that have gone out the window together with long sit down dinners. I grew up in a family that had soup as a starter of a large meal, in our case lunch, almost every day. My mom still makes soups couple of times a week, and they are varied and delicious!
I vary my soups depending on the season, and gravitate towards lighter soups during summer, and rich and more decadent soups during winter. For example, about two years ago we had a major snow storm, and while my husband was out shoveling, I made a pot of New England Clam-less Chowder that hit the spot!
More recently, some of the soups that we enjoyed were rich in vegetables and can work really well to replace all those recipes that use tons of butter and cream, like Cream of Carrot Soup, and a perfect Creamy Cauliflower Winter Soup. The secret weapon to a rich, creamy and totally vegan soup is an immersion (or stick) blender. This kitchen gadget goes directly into a pot and blends the contents with ease! Of course, you can also use your regular blender but that requires a transfer of a very hot liquid, which may lead to injury – so for things like making creamy soups and sauces a stick blender is the way to go.
For this soup, which combines carrots and apples, it is important to pick firm and tart apples like Granny Smith. Apples add a bit of tartness to the soup as well as a bit of a thickening agent as they are full of pectin, which is a complex carbohydrate that makes jams gel!
One last thing I want to mention before we dive into the recipe is the sodium. My recipe does not include salt because my husband is on a very low sodium/no sodium diet. But this soup, as indeed others as well, taste best with a bit of salt added to it. So, unless you do need to omit sodium from your diet I recommend you add salt to taste, to the pot as the soup simmers. One teaspoon ought to do it for most of us!
This is a great Thanksgiving or winter holiday soup and I hope you get to enjoy it with your family and friends!!!
Apple and Carrot Soup
What you’ll need:
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
5 large carrots, cut into small chunks
3 apples, tart, cut into small chunks (peeled or not, up to you)
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
4 bay leaves, whole
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoons pan toasted pumpkin seeds per serving
salt, pepper to taste
What you’ll do:
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat, then add oil, celery and onion and let the vegetables sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and apples, and sauté for another 5-8 minutes, until carrots and apples start to soften and brown.
- Add the spices and mix well, then pour in the water, increase the heat to high, let the soup come to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until apples and carrots are soft and fully cooked.
- Once the carrots and apples are fully cooked, turn the heat off, and let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes. Take all the bay leaves out, then using your immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. You can do this in the standard blender as well, but do be careful – the liquid will still be very hot and you can get seriously burned!!!
- Serve the soup with some toasted pumpkin seeds. You can toast the seeds in a toaster oven or in the non-stick pan. Place your pan over the high heat and let the surface get really hot. Next pour in the seeds, and let them toast with constant stirring for 1-2 minutes. This will be sufficient to get them lightly toasted. Sprinkle on top of the soup and serve!
Note on the salt: please note that the recipe does not use any salt as my husband is on a reduced-sodium/no-sodium diet. However, I do add salt to my own bowl as I do think it enhances the flavor. If you are in the household that consumes salt, please consider adding 1 teaspoon in the pot while cooking. Enjoy!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018