Did I hear you say that you’re really tired of the same-old, same-old meal rotation?
Are you bored with your culinary repertoire right now?
Planning a dinner party and looking for a appetizer with a big WOW factor?
Oh, and then there’s Valentines Day – is there someone you want to say “I love you” to with a spectacular, yet simple to prepare meal? One you can make ahead of time, pull together at the last minute and has a zillion variations? …………………..
…………………… you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got a delicious soup to share with you today that is not only loaded with fresh, healthy ingredients, but one that will knock the socks off of your family, friends and guests with it’s fabulous flavor!
I served this delightful soup today topped with a delicious Toasted Pine Nut & Fresh Herb Gremolata which is just a fancy Italian name for a mixture of garlic, lemon zest and herbs. I added pine nuts which I toasted in the oven until golden. The herbs and lemon zest add a fabulous freshness to the already flavorful soup, the garlic add a bit of zip and the pine nuts top it off with a lovely crunch. But guess what? I’ve got a bunch other ideas to give this soup sparkle and pizazz. ………
Like, what kind of ideas? …………… Well, I thought you’d never ask! …………..like a scoop of jasmine rice topped with a drizzle of curry oil and some finely chopped fresh mint. Or, you could mound a pile of succulent crab meat or shredded chicken breast meat in the center of a shallow bowl and ladle the yummy soup around it. Top it with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and add a loaf of crusty bread – you’ve got an amazing, make-ahead, light dinner that everyone will rave about.
You could also add diced, cooked potatoes, pearl pasta or shredded fresh spinach ………….. and thinly sliced avocado would make a lovely contrast and creamy-textured topping. See what I mean? This soup is extremely adaptable and can take on all kinds of personalities; casual, fancy, elegant and all places in between. It certainly qualifies to be one of the Café’s Little Black Dress Recipes!
Pick up the ingredients next time you’re at the market and whip together a batch of this wonderful soup …………… well, actually you might want to make a double batch, since it won’t last long, it keeps well and you might have some sad, long faces staring at you when they peek in the soup pot and see only the scraped-clean bottom looking back at them!
P.S. I almost forgot …………. see the fun flatbread crackers in the photos? Check back on Saturday for the recipe. Oh my goodness; when you take the first shatteringly crisp bite, you’ll never want to purchase another cracker from the market. They have a special, unique ingredient that gives a burst of flavor that you won’t believe! Be sure to check back …………
Roasted Carrot and Coriander Soup w/ Toasted Pine Nut & Fresh Herb Gremolata
Ingredients for the soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 one pound bag baby carrots, or a one pound of carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium potato, peeled and quartered
2 medium shallots, halved and skin removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seed* or coriander powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon Sriracha, a delicious chili sauce readily available in most larger markets in the Asian section
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in oven or stove top till golden brown
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely zested
½ cup Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons milk, to thin Greek yogurt
Instructions for the soup:
1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil.
2. In a large bowl, toss carrots, onions, shallot halves and sea salt with the olive oil and spread on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, bring chicken broth to a simmer. Add potato, bay leaf, cilantro, coriander, curry powder and Sriracha. When carrots are finished roasting, add vegetable mixture to simmering broth. Continue cooking for 30 minutes until all veggies are very tender.
4. Remove bay leaf and puree the mixture using a regular blender or a stick blender. If using a regular blender allow mixture to cool down a bit before pureeing. If too thick add more chicken broth to thin down a bit.
5. At this point, soup can be cooled down and refrigerated for several days. To serve, simply warm the soup. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of Toasted Pine Nut & Fresh Herb Gremolata or other desired toppings.
Instructions for the gremolata and Greek yogurt topping:
1. Coarsely chop cooled pine nuts. Combine herbs, lemon zest, garlic and pine nuts in a small bowl.
2. Place yogurt in a small bowl. Add milk to desired constancy and stir to combine.