You know that feeling you get after indulging in a truly outstanding gourmet restaurant meal? Where the food is so good you can’t stop eating, all the while trying to savor each delectable bite?  It’s why we splurge on the “fine dining” experience.  Besides having someone else make you a really great cocktail and not having to do the dishes, why else would we spend over $30 a plate for something we could easily make at home?  Because in most cases, it’s nearly impossible to recreate gourmet dishes at home.

That’s what I thought, until one rainy day in the spring, when I created this roasted carrot, ginger, and lemon soup.  Warm and comforting yet vibrant and velvety smooth, this soup has all the elements of an upscale gourmet dish – locally sourced fresh ingredients, a few simple but distinct flavor profiles, and a smack to the culinary senses!

The secret to this soup begins with roasting the carrots and sweet potatoes.  Trust me, in less than 30 minutes, these pantry staples are transformed into perfectly tender little morsels.  Soft and sweet on the inside but protected by their slightly charred and caramelized skins, they are the perfect base for this sweet and spicy soup!

Strawberry Basil Mint Smash Cocktail
Adding to the roasted vegetables, the soup’s spicy-sweet flavors were intensified with Asian influences from ginger and Chinese Five Spice.  Juice and zest from a lemon provide both a refreshing and comforting kick to this concoction.
Strawberry Basil Mint Smash Cocktail

A dollop of rich Greek yogurt and a chiffonade of mint and tarragon soothe the soup’s spices and add that last layer of richness, with a touch of brightness.

 

Strawberry Basil Mint Smash Cocktail

Serve alongside a simple but just as comforting salad composed of local greens, garden produce such as radishes and dill,  and warm and gooey over easy eggs.  With a meal as simple and flavorful as this, you may never splurge in a restaurant again!

 

Strawberry Basil Mint Smash Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (about 8-10) carrots, diced into large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into large chunks
  • 1 36oz carton, vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • Dash of Chinese Five Spice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garnish

  • Handful of tarragon and mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.   Arrange diced carrots and sweet potato on a foil lined tray.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss veggies to evenly coat.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are caramelized and slightly charred around the edges.
  2. In a medium-size, heavy-bottom stockpot on medium heat, add the roasted vegetables, stock, grated ginger, garlic, and lemon zest, coriander, Chinese Five Spice, and a crack or two of both salt and pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, simmering for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.  Using a ladle and working in batches, transfer soup to a large-bowled food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Return soup to pot.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls.  Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of both tarragon and mint.

Makes 4 full bowl servings.

Roasted Carrot, Ginger, and Lemon Soup

Roasted Carrot, Ginger, and Lemon Soup

Warm and comforting yet vibrant and velvety smooth, this soup has all the elements of an upscale gourmet dish - locally sourced fresh ingredients, a few simple but distinct flavor profiles, and a smack to the culinary senses!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (about 8-10) carrots, diced into large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into large chunks
  • 1 36oz carton, vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • Dash of Chinese Five Spice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garnish
  • Handful of tarragon and mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Arrange diced carrots and sweet potato on a foil lined tray. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss veggies to evenly coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are caramelized and slightly charred around the edges.
  2. In a medium-size, heavy-bottom stockpot on medium heat, add the roasted vegetables, stock, grated ginger, garlic, and lemon zest, lemon juice, coriander, Chinese Five Spice, and a crack or two of both salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, simmering for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Using a ladle and working in batches, transfer soup to a large-bowled food processor. Puree until smooth. Return soup to pot.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of both tarragon and mint.
  5. Makes 4 full bowl servings.
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