Soups were never made at home, growing up. The only soup that I grew up accustomed to, was a tomato soup served with croutons ordered on a rare visit to a North Indian style restaurant. It is amusing that we South Indians love to eat North Indian food when eating out and I hear it is vice-versa up north. Whatever the case, soups were not a norm. Over the years, especially more so after I began blogging, soups started to kind of grow on me and my kitchen started to see more of simmering soup pots, then on. Squashes, Apples, Pasta and Vegetables, Barley and Celery, Tomato, Spinach and Carrots – the list of vegetables that have been my soup experiment guinea pigs, is not quite bad considering my aforementioned background.
Colors on the other hand, have never failed to mesmerize me, especially when they come in attractive hues and on vegetables. Not sure if it is subconsciously a girl thing that I have a soft spot for purple. I bet not. Purples, mauves and magentas have always ruled my palette. And when carrots decide to come in a shade of purple, just imagine! Going weak on my knees is the only way, with no guilt attached though. These are ordinary orange carrots covered in a purple blanket, as if for winter. Cut on top, they looked so pretty with concentric circles of green, orange and purple.
Just like blueberries, Purple carrots are loaded with antioxidants. Also the only reason I chose to roast the carrots whole, for I did not want to lose those pleasing purple peels.
From this recipe I knew that carrots and fenugreek marry well and from this one, I had learnt that fenugreek and mint are best buddies. This carrot soup happened almost naturally knowing that the flavor combinations work like magic. The next day during a quiet moment, I also realized that it presents five of the six tastes as per Ayurveda, sweet from the carrots, pungent from black pepper, bitter from fenugreek, sour from the lemon and salty from salt. So many good excuses for one soup!
I am sure this recipe will turn out awesome with the beautifully blushing pinkish orange Delhi carrots. If you spot them in your market, you should never miss an opportunity to bring them home.
And before I forget, Happy Women’s day to all you lovely, strong women out there!
So, What’s your favorite soup story?
- 4 medium purple carrots
- 1 medium red onion
- handful of mint leaves
- handful of fenugreek sprigs
- few drops of neutral oil for roasting
- extra virgin olive oil for garnish ~ optional
- wedge of lemon
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
Preheat oven to 400° F
Wash the carrots, towel dry, trim the top, smear a little oil and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Peel the onion, cut in half, smear with a little oil and place face down on the sheet. Bake for 30-40 mins until tender and juices begin to run. Alternatively, you could pan roast them with a few drops of oil.
Wash, pick and towel dry the mint and methi (fenugreek) sprigs. Leave out the tougher stem and just pinch out the sprigs and leaves.
Heat oil in a skillet or kadai, add a few drops of neutral oil. When the oil is hot, drop the sprigs and roast until wilted. Blend the wilted herbs and roasted carrots when cooled, with some water to the desired soupy consistency.
Transfer to a big pot, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and simmer on low for 10-15 mins.
Drizzle some EVOO and serve warm with a wedge of lime or lemon on the side.
I had originally used white onions and found that when roasted they tend to make the soup a little sweeter. For that reason, I have mentioned red onions in the recipe. Skip onions altogether, if they are too sweet for your taste.
Feel free to add garlic for roasting and optionally, spice up the soup with roasted cumin powder and red chilli powder if you are in the mood for it.