Spiced Carrot and Orange Soup
A warming soup with the cheering color of carrots and the zesty flavor of citrus and ginger, this soup is great as everyday fare as well as an opener for winter holiday meals.
Serves: 8 to 10
- 2 tablespoons fragrant nut oil or olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
(or for a shortcut: use two 16-ounce bags whole baby carrots)
- 1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 to 2 cups plain unsweetened rice milk or other nondairy milk, or as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Parsley or other fresh herb for garnish (sprigs or chopped), optional
- Toasted whole cumin seeds for garnish, optional
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and celery and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden.
Add the carrots along with 2 cups water, juice, wine, and spices. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the mixture in batches to the container of a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Or, simply insert an immersion blender into the soup pot and process until smoothly pureed. If you prefer, you can leave a little chunkiness to the soup.
Return to low heat and stir in enough rice milk to give the soup a medium-thick consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste and add a little more orange juice if you’d like a more pronounced orange flavor
If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for several hours before serving to allow flavors to develop. Adjust the consistency with more rice milk, then adjust seasonings to your liking, if need be. Garnish individual servings with fresh herbs of your choice and/or toasted cumin seeds.