Generally I am not the biggest fan of cold weather. Winter makes me cringe. Darkness makes me sad, and dampness makes my bones ache. Autumn is OK, with its pleasant stroll-worthy temps and colorful leaves, but it's not my favorite. This attitude toward chilliness makes it all too easy for me to get swept up in a cloud of humbug during the cooler seasons. That's part of the reason I moved away from New England. I'm part lizard, you see, and would rather swelter in one hundred plus weather than suffer from chattering teeth or numb toes.
Here in Austin our winters are brief and mild, but I still resent them. I'd much rather be lying in the sun at Barton Springs than huddled on my couch under a quilt. Still, all you can do is make the best of it. I'll enlist the help of the hubby and kitty-cats to turn "huddled" into "cuddled". I'll savor the feeling of soft socks over bare feet, and make the most of the cooler nights by turning on the oven as much as I want.
It's not all bad, right? The return of hot soup to our meal routine almost makes the whole bitter season worthwhile. It's barely dropped from one hundred here and I'm already back on the soup wagon. Yesterday I whipped up a simple batch of creamy carrot soup. I've made a similar soup in the past, but thanks to the celery and simmered veggies, this one tastes much lighter and fresher. Save the roasted carrot and cashew version for later in the season when you are actually cold.
By the way, this recipe is grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, but still very savory. Hubby remarked on how he couldn't get over how "meaty" carrots can taste. I agree. Serve this to a crowd, and you should please just about everybody.
Creamy Carrot Soup Recipe
Makes about twelve servings
- 2 cups cashews, soaked in 2 cups water
- 1 pound raw carrots, tops removed, and chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 gallon water
- 2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons Bragg's Amino Acids (or soy sauce or tamari)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules (or powder)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
- Soak the cashews in cold water for at least two hours.
- Add the vegetables and water to a large pot. Cover, and bring to a rapid boil.
- Remove cover, and boil for about 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are just tender.
- Add the cashews (with water) and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt, spices, and aminos.
- Taste, and add more salt, pepper, or spices as needed.
- Serve hot with a salty, crunchy garnish. Kale chips, chopped carmelized onions, or roasted pumpkin seeds would do nicely.
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