This slightly sweet and uniquely spicy bowl of lusciousness will make you re-think overcooked carrots from days of old.
My cousin Julie throws the most perfect tea parties. She learned from the best — her mom, my Aunt Peg. At these family gatherings, the special china comes out, the holiday decor abounds, and the delicious array of food and teas is beyond compare.
Julie does much of it, but then she has the gift of getting everyone involved, with each cook bringing out her best.
Tea Pary Perfection
Recently Julie hosted a Valentine’s Day tea party for all of us. The afternoon was exquisiteness from start to finish.
We were greeted with a beautiful table set with vintage Czechoslovakian Black Knight China inherited from Julie’s dear friend Thelma.
My Aunt Betty got into the act, whipping up a vibrant organic orange and mixed greens salad that included cranberries, almonds, feta, and avocados.
No tea party at Julie’s is complete without scones, and my cousin Jill stepped up to make her tender Currant Scones, which were gussied up with My Aunt Peg’s lemon curd, made with lemons off her tree.
We were delighted with a wonderful selection of Harney and Sons teas, along with exotic drinks such as Kanhobb Russian Pear Soda and Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda.
There were three scrumptious varieties of finger sandwiches begging to be eaten.
For desserts, we enjoyed a light Lemon Mousse and a beautiful assortment of cookies and the mini blackberry pies that we, unfortunately, missed because they were hiding in the oven, safely out of sight…and mind.
These were simply the backdrop, though, for Julie’s Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup, which was so bright, and so good that the room fell quiet when everyone tasted it. (And that’s saying a lot for my family!)
It is just way too delicious not to share this recipe.
Today’s Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup
This Thai-inspired recipe will cook in just 30 minutes. You can adjust your spice level to how you like it by adding more chili paste or fresh chili peppers. It is perfectly sweet and spicy and oh so delectable.
Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup
This perfectly sweet and spicy soup will cook in only 30 minutes.
- 2 tbsp. roasted sesame oil or coconut oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 - 2 pieces ginger diced
- 2 tbsp. lemongrass paste
- 1 - 2 tsp. chili sauce
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white rice not cooked
- 9 medium size carrots sliced
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1 tbsp. cumin ground
- 1 1/2 tsp. cardamom ground
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg ground
- 1 15-oz. can coconut milk
- 1 - 3 tbsp. vegetarian fish sauce
- 1 small lime squeezed for juice
- Lime zest for 1 lime
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup scallions chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut optional for garnish
Pour 2 tablespoons oil into the bottom of a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass paste, and chili sauce. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the broth and rice. Bring to a boil.
Add the carrots, celery and the spices (cumin, cardamom, nutmeg). Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, or until carrots and rice are soft.
Add the coconut milk and stir. Remove from the heat and puree the soup in batches in your blender or with an immersion stick. Return soup to the soup pot if using a blender.
Rewarm soup over medium heat. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Taste-test for salt, adding more fish sauce instead of salt, as needed. If your soup turns out too salty, add more lime juice. Add more fresh chili or chili sauce if not spicy enough.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with fresh cilantro, scallions, shredded coconut and lime zest.
I can’t stop thinking about this flavorous feast. Thank you to my wonderful cousin Julie for a fabulous event.
Hope you enjoy this soup recipe as much as we all do.
…and then, she paused for thought.