Watching Bill Cunningham’s spring street fashion video in The NY Times this morning was a reality check for me here near the equator. Everyone was wearing spring coats!
Here in Thailand we are already immersed in the hottest months of summer. So, forgive me, but easy hot weather food is the order of the day in this part of the world. By that I mean light meals with crisp enticing flavors that more than satisfy the appetite sans overindulgence.
Carrots abound at the local markets here at the moment and are the makings for a bright simple chilled “gazpacho” laced with fresh ginger, chillies, and fresh coriander leaves that is the perfect zesty beginning for a summer lunch or supper.
The recipe that follows makes about two quarts. Sounds like a lot I know, but the base soup can be refrigerated for up to four days, or frozen for later use.
For a recent meal I followed the gazpacho with a lime cilantro chicken sate and a cool ortzo salad with mango on a bed and summer garden greens. All prepared in the morning and nearly effortless to assemble come serving time!
Come fall or winter, simply heat the soup and serve for a hearty warm me up!
Chilled Summer Carrot Ginger Gazpacho Serves 8-10
- 1 ½ cups diced onions 1
- ¼ pounds young carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 4 to 6 cups heated stock or water
- 7oz sour cream
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 3 large ripening jalapeno chillies, seeded and finely diced
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves
Prepare and assemble all the ingredients for the soup before you begin to cook.
Finely dice the onions, shred the carrots by hand (or use a food processor), finely grate the ginger, and peel and dice the sweet potatoes.
Place the butter in a medium stock pot over medium flame. When the butter is melted and bubbling add the onions and cook, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and translucent without browning; about 8 -10 minutes. Add the shredded carrots and toss together with the onions until the carrots wilt; about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss until well combined.
Add enough hot stock to well cover the ingredients and bring to a low simmer, reducing the flame as needed, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. All the ingredients should be very soft. Remove the pot from the stove and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Blend the soup using an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a conventional blender, in batches. Blend until the soup is nearly smooth. The texture should be quite thick. Set aside on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Transfer to containers and refrigerate.
When you are ready to serve the chilled soup you can either mix individual 1 cup portions of the soup with 1 tablespoon of the thinned sour cream and stir until completely incorporated, or stir in ½ cup thinned sour cream whisked into the entire batch of soup.
Place the chilled soup that has been mixed with the sour cream in individual serving bowls. Add a dollop of the sour cream mixture in the center of each portion and garnish with the diced jalapeno chilies and fresh coriander leaves.