Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup and a Great Cafeteria

I am not sure I ever told you about the cafeteria of the Center City Philadelphia building I work in. I can assure you it is like no other corporate cafeteria you have seen or eaten in. Situated on the 43rd floor of the tallest building in Philadelphia the views form the floor to ceiling windows are stunning. And the food is very good, too. Not your typical cafeteria food with lots of vegan options every day.

The Thai Carrot soup I had recently was good enough to motivate me to try to replicate it at home. Now, that is saying something! It had a lovely carrot flavor, a hint of spicy heat and a creaminess derived from the coconut that was really nice.

I set out to create a version of this soup at home. Mine actually turned out quite differently than the one I had in the cafeteria but it was no less delicious. It is quite spicy, so if you are not a big fan of spice you may want to adjust the recipe.

I feel very lucky to work at a place where I never have to worry about what is being served on days I do not bring a lunch or  don't have time to leave the building- I am always covered!  What about you? Do you have a work lunch spot that never fails you?

Photo courtesy of City Profile

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

8 carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
1 can coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 1/2" thick ginger slices, peeled and chopped
1 tsp tandoori paste
4 dried red chili peppers (to reduce the amount of heat use less)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onions, garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook a few minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the tandoori paste, stir and then add the carrots. Continue cooking about five minutes more and then add the can of coconut milk, vegetable stock, tamari sauce, dried chili peppers, curry powder, coriander and dry mustard. Bring to a boil over medium and the reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour. The carrots should be very soft. This could take an hour or more.

Once the carrots are softened  remove the dried chilis from the soup and place the mixture into a blender. Blend until very smooth. If you do not have a large enough blender to do all of the soup at once you may do it in batches. Once blended put the soup back into the pan over low heat. Add the non dairy milk and continue to cook for another fifteen minutes or so.

Garnish with cilantro (if desired) and serve.

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