I love cooking in the fall, but there's something extra special about making the season's first batch of soup. I am trying to pretend that the temps aren't still in the 80's in hopes that if I cook as though it's sweater weather, sweater weather will show up.
Today's soup was Carrot Ginger. Carrots have always been a favorite vegetable. I specifically remember my dad telling me when I was a kid that I needed to eat carrots in order to be able to see. I'm not mad that I fell for it because to this day, the flavor of carrots still reminds me of home.
SO - for this soup, I played with a recipe from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Clean Food, by Terry Walters. The recipe calls for 4 cups of chopped carrots - but I think I may have added a bit more than that. I love cooking meals that are packed with nutrition and whole ingredients, so this soup hit the spot.
Carrots are loaded with carotendoids (like beta-carotene) and a plethora of other antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that keep the body functioning at it's optimal level. Once consumed, beta-carotene is broken down into Vitamin A, which is then used for producing healthier skin, a stronger immune system, healthy mucous membranes (that line the entire alimentary canal!) and good eye health*. Ginger helps regulate digestion and can help ease many forms of digestive distress*.
When I'm not using carrots to make soup, steaming them is the way to go. Steaming vegetables helps retain almost all of the nutrients and is quick + easy. Add a little salt + dried parsley, and voilà! Make it an easy side or mix it with some brown rice + protein for a fast yet complete meal.