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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Curry Carrot Soup

It's been a while since I've posted, and I have a crap ton of recipes to share from over the past month or so.   A lot has happened since you last heard from me.  I'm still frantically applying for teaching jobs, hoping to snag one by August, but it's not looking good....and as a result I have turned back to food service..which I swore I would never do once I had my credential.  But lo and behold, California is financially f***ed right now, and teachers (among many other important professions) are paying the price.

So I found a job at a casino, quickly quit after experiencing a week and a half of horror, and was lucky enough to get my old job back at the Marriott where I have picked up 4-5 shifts a week in room service, the restaurant, and bar.  Although it's not my dream job, I'm glad that I work so close to home with great people and a good boss....and it pays the bills....barely.  Although it's not ideal, I'm content for now; though one downside is that I have far less time for cooking now that I work nights, since dinner seems to be my meal of choice.  However, I have been saving up a few recipes to share with you, so I vow to keep the posts short and more frequent, because there are some dinners and desserts coming that will blow your mindhole.

This is my favorite carrot soup recipe to date- especially for summer.  Its great hot or chilled, and you can vary the heat factor depending on your tongue's tolerance.  Personally, I love a good, spicy kick in the teeth, but for you sensitive types, I recommend using about half the curry paste the recipe calls for to start.....and you can always add more.

Silly lil' side note: I came up with this recipe the same day Sarah posted hers.  I guess great minds think alike!  For her non-curry version (and other gluten-free creations) check out her blog here.

Curry Carrot Soup

5 cups carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
5 Tbsp fresh ginger, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, diced
1 box + 1 1/2 c of veggie stock
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen)
2 tsp fish sauce
pepper to taste

Coat a stock pot generously with olive oil on medium heat.  Once the pot is hot, add the onions and shallots, stirring every now and then until they become slightly translucent.  Add pepper flakes, garlic and ginger and cook at least 2-3 minutes more, or until the flavors mix and your kitchen smells like heaven.  Some stoves may run a little hotter (like mine), so watch this mixture and turn down the heat a little if you need to- just don't let the garlic burn!  Next, mix in carrots and half the stock, kicking up the heat to high, and cover until the carrots are softened.  Stir in red curry paste until incorporated.

Remove carrot mixture from heat and transfer to a blender.  Puree (in batches, if necessary) until smooth.  Transfer back to stock pot and return heat to a low simmer.  Stir in remaining stock, coconut milk, fish sauce and pepper.  Serve hot with a garnish of fresh basil or cilantro.

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