Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chilled Carrot Coconut Soup with Lime Pickled Red Carrots, Cilantro, and Sesame Seeds

The carrots at the market have been amazing the last couple of weeks. Esters's Farm sells beautiful bunches of rainbow carrots, which consist of the colors yellow, orange, white, and red. Though these carrots are beautiful to look at, I prefer the flavor of the regular orange carrots available right now. The rainbow ones are great to add a little color in garnishes. For the red carrots, do not peel them, or you lose the color. Also, they turn a dark, rusty brown when roasted, which is also gorgeous, but not red.

I am not usually a fan of chilled soups, but I love this one. I think it's the coconut milk. This soup becomes silky smooth from the coconut fat. A little of this soup goes a long way, it is rich! I like to serve it in little bowls or cups as an appetizer. The flavor of the carrots is of utmost importance here, so only use the best. I use the red carrots for the lime pickled carrots to give a little color contrast. The sweet and sour red carrots go wonderfully with the fatty coconut in the soup.

Carrot Coconut Soup with Lime Pickled Red Carrots, Cilantro, and Sesame Seeds
Serves 2-4 as a small serving appetizer
Spring, Summer, Autumn

Pickled Carrots
-2 red carrots, sliced into
paper thin rounds
-Juice of ½ lime
-1 ½ - 2 teaspoons agave nectar
-1-2 teaspoons umeboshi plum vinegar
-touch of chili paste
-1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Carrot Coconut Soup
- ½ small yellow onion, sliced
- ¾ pounds carrots, sliced
- ¼ hot jalapeno, or ½ of a mild one, sliced
- ½ tablespoon minced ginger
-1 clove garlic, smashed
-2 cups vegetable stock
-1 cup coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling
-Salt and fresh ground white pepper

Soup Garnish
-chopped cilantro leaves
- ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

For the Pickled Carrots: Combine the paper thin carrot slices with the lime juice, agave nectar, plum vinegar, chili paste, and sesame oil. Toss to combine and set aside.

For the Carrot Coconut Soup: Combine the sliced onions, sliced carrots, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, and vegetable stock in a 2 ½ - 3 quart soup pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender. Puree the soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until completely smooth. Add in the coconut milk and blend again. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground white pepper. Pour the soup into a shallow bowl and place into the refrigerator. Chill until quite cool.
Pull out the soup and ladle into small bowls or cups. Top with a helping of the pickled carrots, chopped cilantro leaves, toasted sesame seeds, and a light drizzling of extra coconut milk.

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