Hurricane Sandy swept through New Jersey this week – which meant it was time to use up anything perishable in the refrigerator while we still had power. I had almost two pounds of carrots in my fridge, because every time I go to the supermarket I convince myself that carrots could become my favorite afternoon snack… which it never does. This soup, on the other hand, is much more appealing – the ginger, cumin and thyme add a depth in flavor that makes boring old carrots more exciting. And it’s a warm, hearty soup for a cold, rainy day. Stay safe, everyone!
1 3/4 pounds carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock or broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 small sweet onion, chopped into small pieces
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to broil.
2. Place carrots and half the olive oil in pan, mix, and place in the oven. Broil for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
3. While the carrots are cooking, bring the broth to boil. Add the ginger, thyme and cumin and simmer.
4. While the broth is heating up, brown the onions in the remaining olive oil. Add the garlic and brown.
5. When the carrots are ready, combine the carrots, onion and garlic and broth mixture.
6. Use an immersion blender to combine the mixture until smooth.
It’s not very often that I am inspired by a meal I have during a meeting at work, but today was an exception. An outside caterer brought us a salad in a cilantro cumin dressing, and it was such a great combination that I had to make my own version. Here is a southwestern spin on the classic potato salad, made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save some calories and add protein.
Cilantro Cumin Potato Salad
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
6 red potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 avocados, cubed
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved long ways (I also squeezed the juices out)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 5.3 ounce container of Greek yogurt
2 tbsp half and half cream
1/4 tsp cumin
5 tbsps fresh cilantro, minced
1 tsp minced garlic (you may want more, but start with this)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white vinegar
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Put the red potatoes and sweet potatoes in a roasting pan. Cover with the olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and slightly brown on the edges.
- While the potatoes are roasting, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients and whisking until smooth.
- When potatoes are done, combine all ingredients, cover with dressing, and mix until evenly distributed.
- Serve at room temperature and enjoy!