This is the time of year I live for! The warm sweaters, the cozy blankets, the smell of bon fires floating on the air, and the gorgeous transformation of natures – all with delicious hearty foods just makes this time of year the best.
The seasonal produce that is available can be used in so many ways. Fruits like figs, pomegranates and pears all under the flavor radar behind the apple. The fall screams apples with pies, butter, and cider. But for a moment look beyond the cinnamon inebriated fruit to the other items available. The pomegranates adding pops of flavor and brightness to your dishes. Sprinkle on a taco, or even in a salad to those palette alternating bites. Take the fig in all it’s glory. This inside out flower roasted with a little balsamic vinegar wrapped in prosciutto will be the highlight to your appetizer platter. And the pear, this delicious fruit adding so much texture and sweetness to any dish. There is so much more than just the apple for fall fruits.
The fall vegetables are brimming with the opportunity for flavor relationships with North African or Indian spices. Leave the cinnamon in the pantry. Cinnamon is delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it is over used. It is overpowering our tastes buds and not allowing us to really taste what it’s on. Most apple pies are just covered in cinnamon, but if you reduce the amount of cinnamon by half, it becomes a totally different pie.
Butternut squash, pumpkins, carrots – all these bright orange delights deserve more than a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Pull out that bottle of curry powder hanging in the back, or the harrisa paste you bought once to marinate a chicken. Add those flavors on the canvas of a squash and allow your taste buds to dance.
Last night a curried carrot ginger soup graced our table with toasted pepitas and coconut milk. It was delicious and kid approved. The subtle blend of sweet and spice made each spoonful more and more desirable. The texture of the smooth is not a thick as a butternut squash or pumpkin soup. It’s light, yet flavorful. You leave feeling refreshed but yet warm and cozy. Soup season is the best!!! Enjoy my friends!
Curried Carrot Ginger Soup
- 4 Tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch coins
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground corriander
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup pepitas, toasted optional
- Heat the butter until the foam subsides. Add diced chopped onions, sprinkle with salt, stir to coat with butter. Allow to soften for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped carrots, ginger, garlic and the spices. Stir and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the stock. Stock should cover the carrots mixture. If needed, add more stock or water to ensure they are covered by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the carrots are tender and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup using either an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender. If transferring to a blender allow to cool slightly and secure the lid. Cover the lid with a towel for extra layer of protection in case any liquids escape.
- Add enough coconut milk to bring the soup to the consistency you want. Add in the lime juice to brighten the flavors. Taste soup and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper.
- To achieve a nice presentation, take any remaining coconut milk and drizzle over the top. A pinch of cayenne or freshly grated nutmeg on top will add a nice note at the end. Top with toasted pepitas