This soup is almost as basic as it gets – but it doesn’t taste that way. The mix of cumin and coriander seeds, the earthy sweetness of fresh carrots, and, finally, the sparkling touch of citrus brings everything together. Like any well-rounded dish, this orange carrot soup hits most of the main flavor categories: sweet, savory, salty, and just a touch of sour from the zing of the citrus.
With all that complexity of flavor, you’d think it would be hard to make this soup, but it’s not. In fact, it won’t take you long at to whip this up: just a little bit of chopping and a little bit of sautéing, and then the soup makes itself for a half hour, simmering on the stove while you take a break and put your feet up and watch that show you DVR’d yesterday. Before you even finish your show, your soup will be ready to be blended and, in two minutes, you’ll be back to watching your show, but this time with a warm bowl of soup in your hands.
Aside from being easy to make and delicious, you can feel good about this soup because it’s full of stuff that’s good for you. Carrots are loaded with vitamin A, which is critical for good eye health, not just when we’re growing up, but as adults too. It can help prevent dry eyes and keeps your eyes healthier as you age. Of course we all know what the orange in this recipe provides: vitamin C. Vitamin C helps give your immune system a boost, so in cold weather this is extra important. And remember: don’t skimp on the healthy fats. In this recipe, that’s the olive oil. While some vitamins, like vitamin C, are water soluble (meaning they dissolve in water), others, like vitamin A, are fat soluble so you need to have that good fat in your diet to help your body process these vitamins.
There are plenty of nights where my entire meal is a bowl of soup. Sometimes I grab a few Paleo crackers or a Paleo roll that I made earlier in the week, if I’m extra hungry. But this soup is so elegant, that it deserves to be shared with important guests. I use small tea cups or shot glasses to serve just a few spoonfuls worth of soup to each of my guests as the first course of a sit-down meal. It doesn’t fill them up so much that they won’t be hungry for dinner, but it will ignite their taste buds and get them ready for a great meal.
When I have some of this soup left over, either from my dinner the previous night or from a dinner party with friends, I will often bring it to work. It heats up quickly and evenly and I generally throw together a salad with a good portion of protein in it to have alongside my soup. I need that protein to get me through my day! Leftover chicken, beef, or seafood goes great with some greens and a few crunchy vegetables. Toss it all with olive oil and lemon juice and voila – a gourmet lunch.
Whether you keep this soup all to yourself or share with friends and whether it’s for lunch or dinner (and I’m not counting out breakfast!) it’s going to leave a happy, healthy smile on your face because you’ll know you’ve done something good for yourself. And, you’ll have enjoyed it at the same time!
(Make this next: Hearty Paleo Vegetable Soup)
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cups homemade chicken soup or water
- ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp orange zest
- juice from 1 orange
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- salt, black pepper to taste
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the ground coriander and cumin and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Add the orange juice and zest.
- Puree the soup completely using an immersion blender.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Divide the soup between serving bowls, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve