Celebrate the return of light with this sunny and bright soup.
I had a teacher who used to say, “Eat the sun. Plants do. Why not you?” His idea was to become more like the sun, brilliant and life-giving in every way, by “eating sunlight” through the foods we choose.
In this darkest of seasons, here is a soup of sunlight. With its saffron swirl, it offers vitamins A, D and E to strengthen your color and sight, and selenium to keep your moods sunny and bright. It’s a warm break from winter’s cold, and another good reason to celebrate the return of light, and the advent of a new year.
CARROT TARRAGON “SUNSHINE” SOUP
The brazil nuts offer a rich base-note to the carrots’ creamy sweetness, while the tarragon sharpens it up with a unique pungency, and the orange zest gives that fresh taste of sunshine. It’s so quick and easy to prepare, you might be surprised by what a grand dish it makes.
2 teaspoon ghee (or coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1″ piece of ginger, peeled
1 lb carrots
1/4 teaspoon pink salt or sea salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups vegetable broth
8-10 brazil nuts
Instructions Roughly chop the carrots, onion, garlic, ginger. Grate the orange peel to make about a teaspoon and set aside. Juice the orange and measure out about 1/4 cup.
Melt 1 teaspoon ghee in a sauce pan on low heat. Add the turmeric and 1 teaspoon of the tarragon and give it a good swirl. Stir in the chopped vegetables, 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 simmers for about 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
Meanwhile in a dry pan, toast the brazil nuts over a medium heat until aromatic and lightly brown. Put the toasted brazil nuts, and a cup of the soup mixture in a blender. Mix until the nuts are thoroughly creamy. Pour in the rest of the soup and purée. Add water if the consistency is too thick. Pour the purée back into the sauce pan, cover and warm over a low heat.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining ghee in a small saucepan. Add the remaining salt and tarragon. Stir over a very low heat for about one minute. Set aside.
Turn off the heat under the soup and stir in the orange juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more orange juice if it needs more sunshine. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with the tarragon ghee and sprinkle with grated orange peel. Serve piping hot.
On a recent day devoted to cleaning out the pantry, we had it for lunch with gluten-free crackers and a cilantro pesto. But it’s not only great as a working lunch. In elegant bowls garnished with a stalk of fresh tarragon, it is an inspiring starter for a celebratory dinner.