This soup is a warm break from winter’s toil, and another good reason to celebrate the return of light and approach of a new year.
It’s really all about the light really, isn’t it? During the holidays—Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, the New Year—we all in some way, each in our own way, celebrating light? Its return. Its miracle. Its warmth. The hope it symbolizes.
I had a teacher who used to say, “Eat sunlight. Plants do. Why not you?” In this darkest of seasons, this is a bowl of sunshine. With its saffron color, the soup offers vitamins A, D and E for radiant sight and skin, selenium for moods sunny and bright, and tarragon to tickle your digestive fire’s fancy. It’s a warm break from winter’s toil, and another good reason to celebrate the return of light and approach of a new year.
Ayurvedically, this is pungent warmth, light and easy to digest, with ingredients that ground and sustain, making it an ideal meal for this Vata season, and any time you feel the cold, high winds of Vata dosha whipping you into a unsettling whir.
Brazil nuts offer a rich base note to the carrots’ creamy sweetness, the tarragon weaves through with a unique pungency, and the orange zest gives it a sunny bite. Prep is surprisingly simple, especially given the radiant sumptuousness that results.
Carrot Tarragon “Sunshine” Soup
- 1 lb carrots
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1″ piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons ghee, or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped + fresh leaves for garnish
- 1 dash red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea or pink salt
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 8-10 brazil nuts
Roughly chop your carrots, onion, garlic, ginger. Grate a teaspoon of orange zest and set aside. Juice the orange to measure out 1/4 cup.
Melt 1 teaspoon ghee in a sauce pan on low heat. Add the turmeric and give the pan a swirl. Stir in the chopped carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, tarragon, red pepper flakes and half the salt. Allow this to “sweat” by cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
Turn up the heat, add the broth, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat so it just lightly boils for about 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
In a separate small pan, lightly toast the brazil nuts over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes.
Put the toasted brazil nuts with the orange juice in a blender and mix until the nuts are completely mashed. Pour the soup into the blender with the nut cream and purée. Add water if the consistency is too thick. Pour the purée back into the saucepan, cover and warm over low heat.
Melt the remaining ghee in a small saucepan. Add the remaining salt and tarragon. Stir over a very low heat for about one minute. Turn the heat under the soup off. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with the tarragon “butter” and sprinkle with orange zest. Serve piping hot.