Every time I have taught a baking class this year, we have made gluten-free pizza for everyone there. And Dan makes a big pot of soup. Everyone enjoys the pizza. But people generally lose their minds over the soup. “Can you give us the recipe?” sounds around the room. Generally, I have to shrug my shoulders and say, “I’m sorry. He just made it up this morning. I don’t have a recipe.”
This time, I pinned him down on this carrot-ginger soup. Until I met Dan, I thought that soup had to be much more complicated than he makes it. I always made homemade stock (a mushroom stock from the Greens cookbook seemed to take days). He usually uses water. And when you think about it, homemade soup is about the least expensive way to make a lot of food, other than a big pot of beans.
What really matters is the balance of flavors. And the slow simmering. This carrot-ginger soup is gently zingy, light enough for summer, and still satisfies as a meal. It’s good hot or cold. Top it with creme fraiche. Or use a non-dairy yogurt. Some toasted pumpkin seeds on top would be good. Mostly, make it for your family this weekend and you’ll have soup all week.
Sauté the vegetables. Set a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil moves easily around the pot, add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Make the soup. Pour the vegetable stock over the vegetables. Add the turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
Add the chopped ginger to the pot. Bring the liquids back to a boil. Turn off the heat.
Puree the soup. Add 1/3 of the soup to a blender, along with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Puree the soup. Pour it through a strainer back into the pot. Repeat with the rest of the soup. (Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil for each batch of soup you puree.)
Bring the soup back to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Feel like playing? You can use chicken stock in place of vegetable stock if you want a heartier soup. Using vegetable stock or water makes this a lighter summer soup. Try topping this with a dollop of creme fraiche or thick yogurt, if you can eat dairy.