This silky carrot soup is beautifully complimented by the light ginger flavor, rich coconut milk and aromatic red curry paste. Truly a recipe for all seasons, you can enjoy this delicious soup hot or cold!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 large carrots
2 – 3 thin slices fresh ginger root
1 medium onion
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 teaspoon red curry paste
Salt
Pepper, freshly cracked and ground
1 scallion or green onion
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh basil

Preparation:
Peel and slice the carrots; cut 2 into fine matchsticks and 4 into thick slices. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and slice the ginger root. While the soup is simmering, prepare the garnish; cut the scallion into match sticks, pick the leaves from the cilantro and finely chop the basil.

Cooking:
Place the oil in a large saucepan over high heat and add the sliced carrots and ginger. Stir frequently and cook for 6 – 10 minutes, until the carrots are lightly browned and crisp-tender. Add the onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent but not browned.

Add the chicken stock, water, coconut milk and curry paste to the sauce pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, 20 – 25 minutes. Reserving the vegetables, strain the cooking liquid into another saucepan.

Finishing:
Remove and discard the ginger slices. Use a stick blender or transfer the carrots to a blender. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid and blend until very smooth. Whisk the puree into the cooking liquid. Add the carrot matchsticks and cook for about 3 minutes, until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the scallion, cilantro and basil. Alternately, you can store the soup in a tightly lidded container until it is chilled or serve cold the following day.

Yield: 4 servings.

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