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Spicy Ginger and Carrot Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Spicy Ginger and Carrot Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Paleo

Being thoughtful with the ingredients you use will help you to understand food and the benefits different things have on your body. There are so many beneficial parts to this soup and you’ll love the way it all quickly comes together.

We’ll be using carrots, leek and ginger as our soup base.  I love carrots. They’re inexpensive, full of fiber and vitamins and they’re sweet but also score low on the glycemic index making them diabetic friendly as they won’t cause much of a spike in blood sugar.

Leeks are high in vitamin A, C and iron which is great for your red blood cells, helping circulate oxygen throughout your body.  They’re a bit more mild in flavor than an onion and will help add a creamy texture to the soup.

Ginger is something I use every day and with many applications.  It’s an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory superfood and it has an incredible depth in flavor.  I use it as often as possible.

Using pumpkin seeds is a great way to add magnesium to your diet and stats show that the majority of us are deficient of this mineral.  Magnesium helps control blood pressure and regulates blood sugar. They’re also high in tryptophan which just like that Thanksgiving turkey, may just help you sleep better.

One of my most favorite ingredients is the Korean hot pepper paste gochujang.  I use it to spice up soups or stews, as a sauce base and as a condiment. It’s full of vitamins, helps your metabolism and provides the same gut health benefit as kombucha as it’s fermented and is packed with probiotics. You can find gochujang at your local Asian grocery store or in the Asian section at most other markets.

Now that we have some background on the key elements to this dish, let’s make some soup!

INGREDIENTS:

Soup Base

  • 2 pounds peeled carrots – cut into equal size pieces
  • 2 leeks (white part only) – cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium onion – peeled and diced
  • 2 inch knob of ginger – peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Tbsp gochujang 
  • Tbsp coconut oil
  • Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (be sure to check the label for yeast.  I like the Kitchen Basics Brand)
  • 1 lemon juiced (zest the lemon to use with the pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut milk

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat coconut oil in dutch oven or medium sized stock pot.  Add leeks and onion and cook 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add ginger and cook 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant – 30 seconds.  Add cumin, coriander and gochujang and stir to combine, then toss in the carrots. Mix everything together with a wood spoon so that the carrots are coated well then pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook until the carrots are fork tender.

While the carrots are going, you can work on the pumpkin seeds.

In a small bowl, add the pumpkin seeds, olive oil and a bit of salt.  Heat a small non stick pan on low and add the seed mixture. Stir often to be sure not to burn them and cook until they develop a nice, toasted brown hue.  Remove from heat to cool for a few minutes then toss with the parsley and lemon zest. Taste for salt and add more if needed.

When the carrots are tender, remove from heat and let cool a bit in the stock.  You can process these either using an immersion blender or by using a blender in batches.  Be sure not to overfill the blender as the carrots will be hot and could splatter.  

At this point, I like to pass the carrot soup through a chinois or fine mesh strainer to produce a very smooth, silky soup.  If you prefer more rustic, you can serve as is. If you used a blender, pour the soup back into the stock pot. Add the olive oil and lemon juice.  Taste the soup and add a bit of salt if needed. Give it a stir then gently pour into shallow serving bowls. 

Drizzle the coconut milk around the bowl and spoon a few heaping scoops of the toasted pumpkin seed mixture into the middle of the bowl.

Enjoy!

 

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