Can you hear that? Listen carefully. I’m sure if you hold your ear close enough to your phone or computer screen you will actually be able to hear me rejoicing. It’s raining you guys! For the second day in a row in the barren landscape that is Southern California. Never was there ever such a case of a girl so geographically displaced. I love cold, foggy, rainy weather. I need it in fact. I would burn up without the occasional cool day or rainstorm. Summers are a nightmare.
I assume my inclination towards a hotter body temp directly correlates with the amount Nicaraguan blood that boils in my veins. I received none of the icy Nordic biology on my father’s side. That sounds very scientific and accurate right? In any event, I run hot and this windy stormy weather is a godsend that I can only assume is due in large part to my relentless prayers for rain. My birthday is just around the corner after all; the gods must be listening.
To capitalize on this rare climate shift, I decided to make soup. Soup is so wonderful that depending on the type I’ll eat it in any weather. Simon and I once ate pho in Palm Springs when it was a toasty 110°F out. So then, how wonderful is it when soup and rainy days coincide? I’m so happy right now! I woke up at five in the morning and listened to the rainfall. I crept to the window and admired the world awash in gray. There are supposed to be thunderstorms today, I can barely contain myself.
So today I decided I would make a soup, and after my trip to a favorite restaurant of mine last week—Hip Vegan in Ojai—I’ve been craving something…dare we say healthy? I love the flavors of Thai food and I always have carrots on hand—so I quickly decided on carrot soup! I used coconut milk to thicken it, and then added in flavors like yellow curry powder, fresh ginger, and turmeric to lend it a Thai curry flavor.
I also used The Set Table’s East Meets Zest is a fiery blend of garlic powder, orange zest, chili powder, sesame seeds, ginger and cayenne. It adds a lot of flavorful heat and was the much needed kick I wanted for this soup. Then I incorporated some of Del Viejo’s Datil Pepper spice is tart and zesty with garlic powder, sea salt, spices, datil peppers, and sour orange zest. It is bright and intense and I can’t wait to use it in more dishes!
This soup is vibrant, creamy, packed with flavor, and best of all, extremely healthy. It’s completely vegan—except for the toast I topped it with—and the perfect way to enjoy a new year of healthier living. I can hardly believe I made it. You can really control and tweak the flavors you want to bring out. If you don’t have the spice blends above simply add in cayenne, garlic powder, or any other ingredient that sounds good. It’s what I always do; I’ll add a little and taste test as I go. This is a hard one to mess up! I just consumed a huge bowl in front of my fireplace, listening to the soothing sounds of rainfall and feeling more content than I have in ages.
- For the Soup
- 2 lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch chunks
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger peeled
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small shallot
- Olive oil
- 1 15 oz. can Coconut Milk (you can save a small amount for drizzling over soup)
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tsp. grated ginger
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. yellow curry powder
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 ½ tsp. East Meets Zest
- ¾ tsp. Datil Pepper Spice
- Juice from ½ lime, plus lime wedges for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chili oil for serving
- Fresh chopped basil, for serving
- For the Toast
- 4 slices French bread cut ½ in thick
- Chili oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange carrots, 1-inch piece ginger, shallot, and garlic (with the skin on) on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove ginger, shallot and garlic and continue baking carrots until very soft and tender, about 20 minutes more.
- Grate roasted ginger and peel garlic cloves.
- Place ginger, garlic, shallot, and carrots in a blender or food processor, along with 2 cups of the vegetable stock, and puree. Use an immersion blender if you have one. My food processor is on it’s last leg so my soup wasn’t as creamy as I would have liked.
- Next, transfer carrot puree to a pot along with the coconut milk, stock, grated ginger, and all your spices. NOTE Add in a total of 3-4 cups stock depending on how thin or creamy you want the stock. I used four cups overall.
- Allow soup to simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soup is heated through and flavors have developed. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- As I mentioned above, if you do not have those Hatchery spice blends, simply add in your own spices in small amounts, tasting as you go.
- Meanwhile make the toast.
- Turn on your oven’s broiler to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter each slice of toast and drizzle 1-2 tsp. chili oil on top.
- Top each slice with about a Tbsp. or so of coconut flakes.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until coconut is lightly toasted. Be sure to keep an eye on it the entire time! It can burn quickly!
- Sprinkle finished toast with fresh basil and set aside until ready to serve.
- Serve soup with lime wedges, chili oil, a drizzle of coconut milk, and top with spicy coconut basil toast.