In Sydney’s climate, carrots can be grown year-round but we are including them here as an early Autumn food because they’re a root vegetable. Root vegetables help our body to store energy and that’s exactly what Autumn is all about.
As the Earth’s energy turns from outward-moving of Summer, it becomes inward-moving towards Winter. Autumn is the turning time. This beautiful season is about celebrating Nature’s variety. Autumn days are long and timeless, or suddenly bringing an early Winter chill.
Now is the time to switch to stir-fries instead of salads, and dust off your slow cooker so you can start enjoying more soups and slow-cooked food to stoke your internal fires!
This recipe is the perfect early-Autumn soup because carrots are a light root vegetable, still connecting with the bright energy of late Summer. They also treat cough and reduce inflammation in the respiratory membranes. And the garlic and ginger are perfect for your immunity – creating a shield of energy at your exterior to ward off Autumn chills and coughs.
(P.S. Catching a cold? Here is your “first-aid” prevention and treatment guide for Autumn colds and flus)
Fun carrot facts…
The first cultivated carrots were purple, originating in Afghanistan around 1,000 years ago from the wild plant now known as “Queen Anne’s lace”.
Fascinated by carrots? Well, why not head on over to the first virtual museum in the world entirely devoted to the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of the Carrot: The World Carrot Museum!
Health benefits of carrots
- Neutral thermal nature
- Sweet flavour
- Benefits Lung
- Strengthens digestion; treats excesses in digestion such as indigestion, heartburn and excess stomach acid; improves liver function; eliminates “bad” bacteria in gut; treats chronic diarrhoea and dysentery; contains an oil that destroys pinworms and roundworms
- Stimulates waste elimination, diuretic, dissolves accumulations eg stones
- Very rich in the anti-oxidant beta-carotene (provitamin A) which protects against cancer, helps ear infections, benefits skin, anti-inflammatory for mucous membranes
- Increases milk supply for lactating mothers
- Helps regulate all hormones
- Carrot juice aids burns when applied directly
Adapted from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.
Autumn Carrot and Ginger Soup
- 1½ kg carrots, peeled
- Olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- Knob of butter
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 5½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1.5 cups coconut cream or fresh almond milk*
- Fresh coriander for garnish
- Preheat oven to 220C.
- Toss peeled carrots in olive oil, and arrange on a tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Roast for 40-50 minutes, turning them over halfway through. When tender (pierce with fork) and slightly caramelised (browned), remove from oven and cut into chunks when cool to touch.
- While carrots are roasting, saute the onion in butter on medium heat until translucent. Reduce heat and slightly caramelise (about 15 mins).
- When onion is caramelised, raise to medium heat and add cumin seeds, saute for about 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger and warm until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
- Put carrot chunks and onion mixture into a large food processor with 3 cups of the stock. Puree until very smooth.
- Place puree into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add remaining stock and ground coriander. Warm on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the coconut cream or almond milk until warmed through, then remove from stove.
- Pour into serving bowls and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
* To make fresh almond milk, add a couple of handfuls of raw almonds to a blender along with about 3-4 cups of filtered water. Blend until watery. You can strain through a fine cloth or, in recipes like this one, use un-strained for extra protein and fibre.