Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

A friend of mine had a “Lean and Mean” Party last weekend. The intent of the party was for every guest to bring a healthy dish, complete with recipe and nutritional info. Work has been a bit hectic, so I didn’t really plan my dish or have much time to put it together. I went to an old stand-by that I did some sort of variation of back in my nutrition class in culinary school – carrot soup. It is essentially a low fat version of cream of carrot with a lot less cream and a lot more flavor, attributed from curry powder and ginger. And at 66 calories a cup, a guilt-free option.

Curried Carrot Ginger Soup
Yields 11 Cups
Nutrition Based on One-Cup Servings

Calories – 66
Carbs – 9 g
Fat – 2 g
Protein – 2 g

1 bag (16 ounces) baby carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 quarts vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1-teaspoon curry powder
dash of nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper
¼ cup fat free half and half, room temperature

1. In a large stock pot, heat vegetable broth to a boil, lower heat to just barely a simmer, enough to keep the broth hot.
2. In another heavy bottom stock pot or large sauce pan, spray a little cooking spray to coat the bottom of the pot and turn up the heat to high. Add carrots, onions, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes. Mix in ginger, curry powder, and your desired amount of salt and pepper.
3. Add about half a cup of vegetable broth to the carrot mixture, lower the heat and cover with a lid, allowing the vegetables to sweat for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender.
4. While the vegetables are sweating, you can prepare a roux. Over low, heat mix the flour and butter in a non stick skillet. Heat until the ingredients are blended into a thin paste and turn a blonde color. Remove from heat and set aside for later.
5. Transfer the carrot mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding vegetable broth as needed to expedite the process.
6. Add blended carrot mixture to the broth and mix thoroughly.
7. Working quickly, return the skillet of roux to a burner and heat with a low flame. Ladle in about a cup of soup and whisk. Mixture will thicken up quickly. Repeat the process 2 – 3 times, until your skillet is about full. Transfer the thickened liquid back to the large stockpot. Add nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and additional seasoning if desired.
8. Finally, stir in the fat free half and half. Soup can be served immediately or saved for later.

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