I (a) like curry, and (b) feel a little under the weather, and this turned out to be a pretty excellent feel-better soup. Basically, it’s chicken noodle soup for the vegetarian.
The heat and spice help you cough more and clean things out, and it feels good in your tummy, but the cayenne pepper & garlic here also have some mild benefits in terms of improving bloodflow, assisting digestion, minimizing inflammation, and heling to boost the immune system. Hey, every little bit helps.
The quinoa is optional; a good source of protein, it’s also the noodle equivalent in this recipe.
Curried Carrot & Quinoa Soup
- 1-2 cups dry quinoa (half normal, half red quinoa is ideal) – optional
- 3 Tbsp peanut (or other vegetable) oil
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds (I used yellow mustard)
- 1/2-1 tsp curry powder (I used the Spice Hunter “hot curry blend;” Madras works as well, but if you use that or “whatever” curry powder, cut back a bit on the honey or increase the cayenne, as you like)
- 1 1/2 inch cube (about 1 Tbsp) fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (or you can get 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the non-sugar-coated candied stuff and mince it fine)
- 1 clove garlic (more if you’re really sick and/or like garlic), minced finely
- 1-2 large white or yellow onion (2-2 1/2 cups chopped to finger-wide pieces)
- 2 lb carrots (1 bag or 2 bunches), split lengthwise and then sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 tsp lime peel, grated finely (or 1 tsp lemon peel)
- 5+ c ups(2+ cans) vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp fresh lime juice (or lemon)
- 2-3 Tbsp honey (I like safflower or sage), or blue agave nectar to taste
- Prepare quinoa per package directions. I make it in a rice cooker using 2/3 the amount of water called for, and unplug it when it wants to switch to “warm” (otherwise the edges burn). While it’s cooking, make the soup:
- Over medium-high heat, heat peanut oil and add coriander, mustard, and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add ginger and grlic; stir 30 seconds to 1 min (until garlic is just aromatic but not burnt). Add onions, carrots, cayenne, and lime or lemon peel. Saute 3-5 minutes, or until onion begins to soften.
- Add broth, cayenne, and lime/lemon juice; then add honey to taste (add 1 Tbsp of honey to start, and see how much you need to balance the cayenne and lime/lemon. The carrots have their own sweetness, so be conservative with this stuff). Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered about 20-30 minutes, until carrots are just a little less tender than you want them (30 if you plan to puree).
- Mix with quinoa (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup soup) & serve — OR cool and, in batches, puree soup, then serve it with a drizzle of yogurt and a sprig of cilantro / coriander on top.
image credit: Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup at The Muffin Myth