Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thoughts...and Carrot Soup

(Warning: this post is just a few of my innermost thoughts. It has very little to do with carrot soup. But the soup is good. And if you'd rather not read my ramblings, you can just skip ahead to the recipe below. I don't mind one bit. Okay. We're all good now.)

It's amazing where my mind wanders to when I'm left alone. Thoughts range from what I'm making for dinner tonight (seriously...I'm drawing a blank) to whether or not I should cloth diaper my unborn child kicking around in my belly. I find myself thinking about food often, since that's what my job revolves around, but I've also been thinking about bigger things. Far bigger than what to put in my kale salad or what to do with that bowl of black beans I made yesterday. I think a lot about what the world will look like when my baby grows up and how I can prepare this little one to be the best person that they can possibly be.
I suppose all of this thinking has been good for me during these gloomy days of winter in the Pacific Northwest. It helps keep my mind off the grayness and fog, which can become quite suffocating if I really let it get to me. But really, I've never felt so much hope in my life. Hope that with each day that passes, I'm getting closer and closer to sunshine, cherry blossoms, and  meeting my baby. Of course, I'm terrified at the same time. But I've never done anything this amazing in my life. Creating a life. Nurturing a life. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I can only hope to be the best mother that I can possibly be.

Carrot Soup (serves 4-6)
2 tbs ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil
2 onions, diced
1/2 tsp each of whole cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds, and whole mustard seeds
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds of carrots, or 2 bunches, cut into 1"chunks
4-5 cups of water or stock
pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
sea salt, to taste
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (depending on the sweetness of your carrots)
Juice of one small lime
plain yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche for garnish
fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the ghee with the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds until the onions soften a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, chopped carrots, and water or stock to the pot.

2. Raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it's very smooth and creamy. Add more water or stock if it's too thick.

3. Add the cayenne pepper, sea salt, maple syrup or honey, and lime juice. Taste and add more salt and cayenne, if necessary. Salting this soup enough is key to provide the right balance of flavors, so don't be afraid to salt!

4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche and cilantro.

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