Monday, June 23, 2008

Soup Swap

I went to a soup swap last night hosted by a childhood friend of mine, Amber. We hadn't seen each other in at least thirteen years, if not longer. She's active in the Austin Mamas and I was excited to see her and meet some Mamas (and swap some soup). The swap took place at her parents' condo overlooking Lake Travis. And yes, it's as beautiful as it sounds. It was interesting and fun, and I especially loved hearing tales and words of wisdom from the moms whose kids are older than E (pretty much everyone there).

Alas, I only ended up with three quarts to swap instead of the required six.

I'm not sure what went wrong; I think I accidentally loosened the pitcher from the rubber base it was attached to. I picked the pitcher up after blending, and the soup gushed out the bottom and went everywhere. I stood there frozen in shock, not even realizing at first that the soup was scalding my hand. (This was after I used the food processor, by the way, which I'd decided was too messy. Ha.) Then, while I was taking a break to compose myself, TJ added the coconut milk to the remaining soup. I'd left out two cans of it, and he poured them both in, which amounted to a lot more than the recipe called for. I decided at that point not to take the soup at all, but after some seasoning, it tasted surprisingly good (a little too much coconut milk, perhaps, but not totally overpowering), so I took what I had. It ended up working out; it just meant that I brought home three different soups as opposed to six.

Earlier in the afternoon, TJ had asked what had made me choose curried carrot soup, and I explained that I love carrot ginger soup (this is similar), but more than that, I wanted something easy since I always seem to screw things up in the kitchen and I couldn't afford to mess up this time. He thought I was being too hard on myself, but I told him to just wait and see--something was bound to go wrong. And sure enough! It seems funny now, of course. I guess.

Here's the recipe for Curried Carrot Soup (from I tripled the recipe, and should've quadrupled it.

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 medium clove garlic, smashed
1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and smashed
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 medium bay leaf
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add curry powder and garlic, and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add ginger, onion, carrots, bay leaf, and broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until carrots are soft when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Working in batches, process soup in a blender until smooth. (Be very careful when blending the hot soup, as steam could blow off the blender lid.)

Pour soup into a clean pot and return to the stove over medium heat. Stir in coconut milk and adjust seasoning as needed.

To make appetizer portions, serve small amounts of soup in shot glasses or demitasses. Garnish with a few flakes of toasted coconut, if using.

Note: This soup can be served hot or cold. If you’re serving it cold, you may need to thin it with a little water.


Amber said...

I wish I had gotten some carrot soup! It sounds so good! Thanks for coming. I'm glad I didn't scare you off, I talk too much when I've had wine. I'd love to hang out again soon.

Heather said...

I thought you were great! And we had your summer chicken chili tonight--SO GOOD. (So was the gazpacho!) It was a fun night--I'm glad I went. And I'd love to hang out again too.