HEALTHY RECIPES: Garden Vegetable Soups, with Carrots

HEALTHY RECIPES: Garden Vegetable Soups, with Carrots

Did you know: When carrots were originally cultivated thousands of years ago in the area now known as Afghanistan, they came in several different colors, including purple, red, yellow and white. The now popular orange carrot was developed by Dutch farmers in the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s the beta-carotene – which the body synthesizes into Vitamin A – that gives the carrot its orange color, and among its many other health benefits, the carrot’s bounty of antioxidants and phytochemicals help with blood sugar regulation, delay the effects of aging, and may improve immune function.

So, the best thing about this soup is that it provides a great sweet taste (from the carrots) without delivering you an unhealthy fructose hit. And anyway, the sea salt, garlic and apple cider vinegar give some yang to the yin, and the spices percolate through very, well, spicily. As for the Drizzles down below, well, I’ll leave that for you to discover for yourself.

Give this soup a try and tell me what you think!

CURRIED GARDEN SOUP
6 carrots, washed well and chopped
2 avocados, cut into pieces
1/2 apple, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1/8 cup raisins
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup seledri
1/2 cup cilantro
1 TB olive oil
juice of one lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ts sea salt
1 ts turmeric, minced
1/2 ts garam masala
1/2 ts apple cider vinegar
1 TB nutritional yeast
1 chili, seeded and minced
1 ts fresh coriander seed, ground by hand
1-2 cups water, to process (according to desired thickness)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. You can do it in batches if the quantity surpasses the capacity of your blender.

Variations:
If you like, add finely chopped red bell pepper or black and white sesame seeds as a topping or add Cilantro Drizzle (below) or, for contrasting color, Bell Pepper Drizzle (further below).

CILANTRO DRIZZLE
1/4 TB olive oil
6 TB cilantro leaves
1 ts mint leaves
1 ts lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of sea salt

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Variations:
Substitute basil or mint for the cilantro.
Add kale or spinach.

RED BELL PEPPER DRIZZLE
1/4 TB olive oil
6 TB red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 avocado, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 ts lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of sea salt

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Variations:
Substitute yellow bell pepper for red.
Add fresh herbs.
Substitute sesame oil for olive oil and tahini for avocado add fresh ginger or turmeric.