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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Warmth From Within

It's a new year and I have the same resolutions nearly every year.  I, like millions hope for financial stability and overall heath and happiness.  I actually woke early today to hit the gym.  I didn't work out hard, but at least I worked out.  I  did keep my resolution last year of not drinking soda.  Yay me!  I had one, yes one, soda last year!  Even then, I was an unwilling participant.  I attended the "picnic" my husbands work has annually for the employees, and they did not offer another choice of beverage.  Not even water. 
So with the healthy new year, I decided I needed to start keeping track of recipes I make.  I don't mean finding the cookbook they came from, or the website I stumbled upon.  I mean when I whip something up at home.  I always never actually measure my ingredients.  For the most part, I don't always remember what I put in it.  It makes things interesting when someone asks for the recipe! 
So in keeping with my resolutions, here is my recipe for Ginger Carrot Soup.

1lb large carrots peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 large onion chopped (about a cup)
2 large celery stalks trimmed and chopped
1 med-large sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 med-large russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 32oz box vegetable broth
1 cup water* (only use to thin soup if needed)
1 tsp garlic paste or minced garlic
1- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (I used my micro plane)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs salted butter
1 tbs olive oil
optional toppings
In a dutch oven, combine the olive oil and butter over med heat, until the butter is melted.  Add the carrots, onion, celery, sweet potato, and garlic.  In a separate pan, bring some water to a boil and add the russet potato.  Boil until potato is fork tender. Drain, cover and set aside.  Occasionally stir the veggie mixture, and cook until the carrots and sweet potato are starting to become tender, but still firm in the center.  Add the broth, salt and pepper and grated ginger.  Stir the mixture, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook veggie mixture for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until fork tender.
With an emulsion blender, blend the soup smooth.  If the soup is thicker than you like, add the water and blend.  If the soup is not thick enough, add the cooked russet potato and blend.  In the picture I had added the water and blended, then added the russet potato without blending.  My soup was really thick and now had chucks of potato. 
Since I have a vegetarian pescetarian in my house,  I had to make it without meat.  As for the rest of us, I had cooked two sweet italian turkey sausages without casings.  I crumbled 2 tbs of cooked meat on the top of my soup and added a few croutons.  You could add cheese to the top if you like.  I'm pretty versitle.  I almosted added a little lime, so it could be ginger lime carrot soup, but I felt my husband might not even try it if I did.  He's not as adventurous as I am.  Since I thought of him, that is where the sausages came into play.  Be nice, I realize now how that read, but he doesn't like eating veggies much, so I had to man this up somehow.
Be creative!  Add stuff!  If you do, tell me what you added and how it turned out.  If you wanted more of a sweeter version you can always add 2 tablespoons of honey or brown sugar.  Anyhow, this turned out exactly how my tastebuds were hoping.  I hope you like it.


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