Carrot-ginger soup is great on a cold winter day.
I like using a sweet variety of carrot such as 'Touchon' in this soup, but any variety will work. The soup has a rich color and a fragrant bouquet of spices. The vanilla yogurt enhances the carrots' sweetness. Serve it hot or cold.
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter|
|1||garlic clove, minced|
|1||tablespoon minced crystallized ginger|
|1/4||teaspoon ground turmeric|
|1/4||teaspoon ground cumin|
|1/4||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|1/4||teaspoon crumbled saffron threads|
|8||medium carrots, scrubbed, sliced into 1/4-inch- thick rounds|
|2||cups peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/3 medium squash)|
|5||cups vegetable broth or water|
|1/2||cup apple cider vinegar|
|1||cup vanilla-flavored yogurt|
|salt and ground pepper to taste|
Put the oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and saffron and stir until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the carrots and squash, cover. Cook, stirring often, until the carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth and cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.
In batches, puree the soup with the yogurt in a blender or food processor until smooth. If serving hot, return to the pot, season with the salt and pepper, and gently reheat. Be sure not to boil the soup or the yogurt will curdle. If serving cold, transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Season with the salt and pepper shortly before serving.
Recipe by Ellen Ecker Ogden from her book From the Cook's Garden (HarperCollins, 2003). Ellen is a garden writer and cookbook author based in Vermont.