If you love lots of flavor, but want to cut back a bit on calories, this delicious, healthy Thai-inspired soup is perfect for you!
Happy 2017, hope your new year’s off to a good start!
As much as I love to see the holiday season come, I’m also quite happy to see it go. I love that the calendar begins all over again only a week after Christmas. There’s something wonderful about opportunities for a new start, and a brand new year may be the best motivation of all for looking at life with a fresh perspective. Scott and I have been in a “de-cluttering and organizing mode” for the last few days – and it feels wonderful! We’re also getting back into more daily exercise, along with a lighter, healthier diet.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably had your fill of rich, heavy, calorie-laden food and may be needing a little detox in your culinary world. It can be really difficult to turn over a new leaf after the holiday indulgences, but this Roasted Thai Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup makes it easy to start a healthy new regime. It’s loaded with super healthy veggies but is so full of delicious flavor, you won’t feel deprived!
Do you know about the plethora of health benefits of orange vegetables? These vibrant-hued veggies, (including carrots and sweet potatoes) contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A). These little nutrients help our bodies in a myriad of ways, all the way from our eyes down to our bones. As an aid in ocular health, they reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the eye. Reducing the risk of prostate cancer, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) are even more ways they help us keep in good health. Other benefits include promoting healthy joints, collagen formation, fighting harmful free radicals in the body, encouraging pH balance of the body and they also boost our immune system. And if that wasn’t enough, they help build healthier bones, by working with calcium and magnesium. Wow, talk about workhorses – and most people think they just look pretty!
You also won’t feel overworked, as there are only a few steps to make this wonderful soup. It starts with a cutting board and knife. Carrots (don’t worry about peeling them), sweet potatoes, onion and an apple are all roughly chopped and then roasted with coconut oil till golden and sweetly caramelized. While the oven does it magic trick on the veggies, you’ll sauté the delicious aromatics (ginger, garlic, lemongrass, brown sugar, coriander, curry and cumin) in your soup pot. Once the veggies are tender and nice and caramelized they’re added to the pot with the aromatics and simmered with chicken (or vegetable) broth, till the flavors are all nicely melded, about 10 minutes.
You can puree the soup with an immersion blender* (the easy way) or a regular blender*. Either way works well, though you’ll find a regular blender will produce a really silk smooth final product. I like them both, it just depends on how much time I have, and if I want the soup super smooth.
I like to garnish the soup with a few little dollops of Greek yogurt (thinned with milk). I also add a few drops of Sriracha or chili-garlic paste and swirl it all together with a toothpick for a really pretty presentation. You could also top the soup with chopped fresh basil or cilantro.
One last thing. I often get asked the question, “Can I make this in the slow cooker or crock pot?” I’m always looking for ways to make things a little easier for you – and for me. So I tried the exact recipe in my slow cooker, using a few tricks to enhance the flavor. Sadly, the results just weren’t the same. The soup with the roasted vegetables was noticeably deeper in color – and flavor! Roasting at a high temperature produces caramelization of the natural sugars in the vegetables, which intensifies flavor along with the hue. They’ll be lots of delicious slow cooker recipes coming up, but you’ll want to crank up your oven for this one.
I have a feeling, you’ll love this wonderful Roasted Thai Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup as much as we do. Put together a batch this week; it will keep you satisfied for hours and it’s a perfect way to get started on a healthy 2017! And if you’re look for more light, fresh, delicious recipes, we’ve put together a highlight post that includes many of our favorites. You’ll find it right at the top of our home page. Happy, healthy eating!
P.S. I made a batch of this soup early one morning. When Scott asked, “What’s for breakfast?”, I handed him a bowl of soup. Definitely one of the perils of being married to a food blogger!
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Lots of people ask what kind of cookware, small appliances, cutlery, etc. I use in the kitchen. Here’s what I used to make this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil plus 2 teaspoons to be used later
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes about 1 1/2 pounds total
- 1 large apple
- 1 medium onion
- 1 1- inch piece fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemongrass*
- 4 medium garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon curry mild powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½-1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or Sriracha sauce***
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth you may need a bit more later, for thinning
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon milk
- chili garlic sauce or Sriracha sauce
Pre-heat oven to 425˚F. While the oven is preheating, line a sheet pan with foil and add coconut oil. Place in the oven for 1-2 minutes, just until oil is melted, then remove. Set aside to cool while you’re chopping the veggies. Combine ginger, lemongrass, garlic, brown sugar, coriander, curry and cumin in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut tough ends off carrots and discard. Wash carrots well and chop into approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel sweet potatoes, cut in quarters, lengthwise and then cut roughly into 1-inch pieces. Peel onion, quarter and cut into approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel and core apple then quarter it and cut into approximately 1-inch pieces. You don’t have to do any fancy cutting as all the veggies will be pureed later. You just want them all approximately the same size so they’ll cook evenly.
Toss the vegetables on the prepared sheet pan with the melted coconut oil. I like to use my hands to toss them and ensure everything is coated with oil. Place pan in the preheated oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until carrots are tender (they take the longest to cook) and veggies are beginning to caramelize (they’ll deepen in color and begin to turn golden). Stir once or twice to re-distribute vegetables during the roasting time.
While vegetables are roasting, heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a medium-large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium low heat. Add the ginger/garlic mixture and stir for 30-40 seconds, until very nice and fragrant. Immediately (you don’t want the garlic to burn) add chicken broth, roasted veggies, fish sauce and chili garlic sauce.
Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low, steady simmer. Cook for 10 minutes then uncover and remove from heat. Allow to cool down for 15-20 minutes (if using a regular blender) or blend immediately with an immersion blender.
To serve, combine the Greek yogurt with the milk and mix with a small whisk or spoon until smooth. Ladle soup into bowls and top with 4-5 small dollops of the yogurt mixture. If desired, add a few drops of Sriracha or chili-garlic paste and swirl with a toothpick. Bon Appetit!
* Lemongrass is not always easy to find. I like to keep a tube of Lemongrass Paste in my freezer. It makes adding the delicious lemongrass flavor super easy. This paste is available in the produce section of most larger grocery stores including Super Walmart.
** I really like this cordless KitchenAid immersion blender and for super silky smooth soups (and lots of other things), this blender is unbelievable! It's definitely the crème de la crème of blenders!
*** chili-garlic sauce will add more heat than Sriracha. It’s better to start with just a little and add more, to taste. You can always add more heat at the end, but it’s hard to take it away.