This is a warming and comforting soup for fall and winter, making the best of the carrot crop. In flu season you need plenty of beta-carotene to help fight off respiratory tract infections, so carrots are an excellent choice. According to Ayurveda, ginger, saffron, allspice, black pepper and nutmeg help make the soup more warming, more digestible and more anti-viral as well as tastier!
For stir frying, I prefer olive oil, coconut oil or ghee. There is some concern about whether olive oil is safe for stir frying. Olive is is mainly monounsaturated rather than polyunsaturated, which makes it more heat stable than other vegetable oils. And the taste is great too! See more here and here.
Some recipe books mention peeling the carrots. I never peel them, in fact I rarely peel vegetables as usually the most nutrients are in or just under the peels. So I just scrub the garden carrots.
2 pinches saffron
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5" fresh ginger, chopped
1.5 lb carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 qt vegetable broth or water
2 pinches nutmeg
2 pinches allspice
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Yoghurt for garnishing
Boil a little water and pour over the saffron. Allow it to soak.
Heat olive oil (or your cooking medium of choice) in a heavy bottomed pan. When it is hot but not burning, add the garlic and ginger and cook until lightly browned.
Now add the carrots and celery.
While the veggies are stir frying, bring vegetable stock or water to a boil. Pour the water over the lightly stir-fried vegetables. Cover and cook until soft.
Now blend until smooth using a food processor, blender or immersion blender.
Add the soaked saffron and saffron water, spices, salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat and let it sit a few minutes for the flavours to mingle before serving.
Serve hot, with a dollop of yoghurt in the centre of each bowl.
Catering note: Most people will eat two cups of soup if it's a main item (such as soup and bread or soup and salad as the meal). Three standard ladles equal two cups.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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