I did not want to cook tonight. My motivation was drained from the workday and the head cold that, cross my fingers, I am not developing. On such a day like this, when you feel the congestion beginning and the to-do list is running through your mind, the only thing you can do is try to fight back.
I can now say, an hour later, that I am happy I resisted the take out and the desperate call to the pizza guy. Whew! Tonight became soup and sandwich night with carrot ginger soup and turkey panini. I have to admit this was somewhat strategic. Ginger is known for soothing upset stomachs, and its slight spiciness is helpful for ridding yourself of sinus congestion. It also has anti-inflammatory properties; this is an ingredient that not only tastes delicious but is practical to use all winter long.
If you have never worked with fresh ginger before I urge you to try it! The fresh version is located in the produce section and comes in HUGE knobs, but you can just break off a little piece if that’s all you need for a particular recipe. Once you are ready to use the ginger peel off the tan outer layer with the back of a spoon or a knife. Unused portions will last longer if kept in the freezer; ironically this also makes it easier to grate into dishes such as stir-fry, sauces, or marinades down the road. (Can you tell I’m obsessed with ginger yet?)
Its inevitable that some sort of cold is going to begin now that the days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping at an alarming rate, but you don’t have to suffer! Make yourself, or someone you love, a bowl of this warm, slightly spicy, comforting soup and watch the relief begin…
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and large chopped
- 3-4 c. vegetable (or chicken) broth
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a pot on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, and red pepper flakes; saute for 8-10 minutes to give the onions a head start. Once onions become translucent and are beginning to look tender, add the garlic and fresh ginger.
Cook these ingredients together for 1-2 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add the carrots and broth; you want the broth to cover the carrots by about a 1/2 inch or so.
Bring to a boil, then simmer the mixture until the carrots are very tender when poked with a knife; approximately 20-30 minutes.
Next, bring out an immersion blender or food processor; this is going to be your secret weapon for making this soup silky and smooth. Remove the soup from the heat and use your processor of choice to blend the carrots into the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Once smooth (make sure to check for lumps), you are ready to ladle the soup into bowls.
This recipe made two very large bowls of soup, which was perfect since it was just my husband and I tonight. If you are feeding a crowd this recipe can very easily be doubled or tripled to suit your needs; this would be perfect as a soup course for Thanksgiving dinner (very festive)! I served the soup with a panini, which is great for dunking into the soup; recipe is below. Enjoy!
- 2 slices bread per sandwich
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 slices turkey per sandwich
- 2 slices cheddar cheese per sandwich
Preheat a large pan or a panini press over medium-high heat. Spread the softened butter on one side of each of the bread slices. Lay the buttered sides down; top with one slice of cheese, turkey in the middle, then another slice of cheese. The second piece of bread goes on top. Place on panini press (or pan) and cook until golden brown; flip and cook on the other side until crispy. Slice diagonal, because this is just better for dipping, and serve with the soup.
My husband loved these tonight and they are so easy to make; you can always change up the meat and cheese to make your own version too!