Given how cold the weather has been around these parts (ie. Central Canada), I am all about soups and stews right now. Our bodies naturally need warming foods during the cooler months – or in our case – the freezing months. Brrrrr! Root vegetable such as carrots, ginger, sweet potatoes, garlic, beets, turmeric, parsnips and turnips are all grounding foods and perfect for the winter. They are also abundant and in-season during the cooler months. By eating seasonally, we provide our body with nutrients needed for the specific seasons and it’s generally cheaper too!
The concept of grounding foods stems from Chinese medicine which considers each food as having a unique energy that affects the body. Many people describe the different energetic properties of food using words such as comforting and warming or fresh and vibrant etc. Just think of a how a hot bowl of soup on a cold day allows for a cozy feeling compared to a refreshing feeling of watermelon on a hot day. Grounding allows for a balanced energy – a way to become more rooted and present in one’s life.
Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene (an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A in the body), lutein (another potent antioxidant especially good for eye health), vitamin K, potassium and is rich in fibre. Ginger – which contains a bioactive substance called gingerol – has been shown to have anti-inflammatory affects and can inhibit the growth of different types of bacteria leading to a stronger immune system.
This soup is a prefect blend of warming, comforting and down-right cozy thanks to the grounding root vegetables – specifically carrots and ginger. The vibrant gremolata – a chopped herb condiment – provides a refreshing note to brighten the long winter nights.
- 1 medium yellow or white onion chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tbsp tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
- 5 medium carrots peeled & chopped
- 1.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1-14 oz can coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1/2 cup lightly roasted cashews or peanuts finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh cilantro (or parsley) finely chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- pinch salt to taste
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped carrots, grated ginger, tamari and cayenne pepper (if using) and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and coconut milk then bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are cooked through; about 15 minutes. Allow the soup to cool a bit before blending.
- Meanwhile, combine the chopped cashews or peanuts, cilantro or parsley, lime juice and a pinch of salt to a small bowl. Set aside.
- Carefully pour the soup into a blender and purée. CAUTION: Make sure that your blender vents out some of the steam to prevent any pressure build up. You can also use a hand-immersion blender to purée the soup directly in the saucepan.
- Return soup to pot and heat through. Season with additional salt if desired. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with 1 tablespoon of the Thai gremolata.