There’s no denying it. Soup has the power to heal. When it’s good, it’s soooo good. It nourishes your body. It soothes your soul. And nothing shows tender loving care better than a wholesome dose of soup served to someone feeling unwell.
I made this yummy healing soup yesterday for my mom who is in the hospital and off solid food for now. Seeing her face when I fed her the beige blended chicken that arrived on her tray was more than enough motivation. The prep takes about 20 minutes—not much longer than tossing a salad together.
If soup strikes you as the ultimate comfort food, you’re not alone. It has traditional roots in every culture. Add the tending and care associated with soup—a gentle stir, an extra pinch of sea salt, a slow simmer—it all contributes to the soothing satisfaction when it comes out just right and you can taste the love.
Every culture has a soup tradition. I grew up with a mom who made excellent chicken soup. When my dad went on a macrobiotic healing diet in the mid-eighties, the soup du jour became miso soup. For breakfast. And it really was every day. My mom just loved it (not) when Big Ed sautéed onions, shiitakes, ginger and more at 6am for his miso soup. The onion smell brought back memories of morning sickness. Smell memory is amazing…
On occasion, my dad would make vegan carrot-ginger soup, with as few ingredients as can be, and it was delicious! Cool or warmed up, it worked. It was truly clean and healthy. Dad was strict about his healing diet. He was fighting stage 4 cancer. He used carrots, homemade vegetable stock, tons of ginger (which has so many medicinal properties!) and wakame (seaweed). The color, aroma and taste were pure joy. He also added lots of fresh parsley, which is good for the prostate.
Since then, I’ve played with a handful of carrot soup combos and this one is my go-to favorite, as you don’t have to use veggie stock or the seaweed (not that I have anything against either). It’s simple to make and adjust to your taste with just 4 main ingredients: carrots, oranges, fresh ginger and onions. A little EVOO and S&P and voila!
You can energize the vibrant color and healing power of this carrot-ginger soup even more with a dash or two of turmeric for added anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits. You can also use veggie stock for a deeper flavor, but truthfully, I love the pure carrot taste of this simple soup when made with clean, filtered water. Using boxed stock? Make sure it’s one you like. Some varieties are awful and will change the integrity of the flavors.
Make this plant-based carrot-ginger soup and let me know how you like it. I love this particular recipe because of the fresh orange juice—it brightens the flavor. And, while it’s welcome any time of year, in the summer it’s equally as soulful, chilled or room temp—for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
ZESTY CARROT-GINGER SOUP
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1½ pounds organic carrots, washed and sliced (about 4 cups)
- 1 orange, zested and juiced (avoid white pith when zesting)
- 5 cups water (or veg stock or combo)
- Sea salt & fresh pepper to taste
- Optional garnish: fresh parsley or mint, a swirl of coconut milk, toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds… Use your imagination or keep it simple!
INSTRUCTIONS: In your favorite soup pot over medium-low heat, sauté onions in oil for a few minutes until translucent, but not browned. Stir in the fresh ginger until fragrant (a minute or less), then add the carrots. Sauté on low heat for 5 minutes. Add the water or stock. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until carrots are tender. Stir in orange juice and orange zest. Add mixture to a blender (carefully, in batches) or use an immersion blender and pulse until smooth. Serve chilled or room temp—or bring back to a low simmer, adjust seasonings and enjoy warm when the aroma is at its peak.
STYLISH TIP: Entertaining? Serve this gorgeous soup chilled in shot or juice glasses as an amuse bouche or tea cups as a starter to an elegant meal. It’s so easy to make in advance (and even better after the flavors marry) so you can spend more time enjoying and less time in the kitchen. I love that.
Carrots are a beautiful source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1 and potassium + cancer-fighting antioxidants. This ravishing root has also been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health. Have a sweet tooth? Crowd out the cravings by eating more sweet and delicious carrots.
Ginger is a true superfood, loaded with antioxidants, which prevent stress and damage to your body’s DNA. In addition to fighting disease, ginger is known to relieve indigestion, lower LDL cholesterol, lower blood sugar, ease arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and more!
Oranges are another nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins and minerals. They are best known for vitamin C, an antioxidant that prevents cell damage and boosts immunity. It also improves iron absorption, slows age-related macular degeneration, and lowers blood pressure.
PS: My mom’s face lit up when she tasted this yummy healing soup. Yay.