Don’t panic. It’s not as spicy as it sounds. The only thing spicy about this soup is the hot chili flakes, and you can lighten that amount if you want to. This is probably the best soup I’ve ever made. It is super easy to do (saute, simmer, blend, eat!) and it comes together fast – perfect for weeknights. The carrot, sesame, soy, carrot, ginger, peanut flavor profile is delicious, and really balanced. I highly recommend it! Serve it with a piece of baked fish or some shrimp, or on its own with a delicious salad and call it a day.
With this soup I’ve accomplished the second goal of my vegetarian month – cooking something with an Asian flavor profile. The first was signing up for a winter CSA, and that worked out great. Check out this beauty shot of my first delivery! Next up is trying a new grain, and I’ve got bulgur on the brain. Stay tuned!
Don’t forgo the toppings – the cilantro and green onion add freshness.
Szechuan Carrot Soup
Yield: 4 servings
I've always wanted to try this soup with coconut milk. If you do, let me know how it turns out!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use the reduced sodium kind)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy or chunky peanut butter
Green onions, toasted chopped peanuts and/or cilantro for serving
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, saute onion and celery until softened and onion is translucent. Add garlic and red chili flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add carrots, ginger and chicken broth and simmer until carrots are soft, about 20 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil milk and peanut butter and stir to combine.
If you have one, use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot it's in. (If you don't have one, I highly recommend one!) If you don't, pour soup into a blender and blend until combined. I used my immersion blender to blend it until smooth. I blended mine until nearly smooth - I like the peanut bites I got from the chunky peanut butter.
Top with green onions, toasted chopped peanuts and/or cilantro. Enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from Amateur Gourmet.