My fall and winter cooking has officially begun with a carrot and yam soup. Richly smooth, sweet and spicy, this soup has no dairy or sugar in the ingredients. The recipe I used as my starting point comes from Cooking Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Joseph Forest (1996). Basically, it involves:
• sautéing fresh yams, carrots, onion, apple, and ginger in a small amount of stock,
• adding more flavorings and liquid for simmering, and then
• blending into a smooth soup.
You don’t really need a recipe to make this type of soup, but it’s nice to try a few recipes at first to get an idea of proportions. I used my own variations adding ingredients I like, such as garlic, and substituting flavorings that I had on hand. For instance, I don’t have any coriander, allspice, or nutmeg, so instead I used some frozen dill from the freezer and extra fresh ginger. I used about an inch of ginger root—almost but not too much and great for my developing cold. For the stock I used some vegetable stock powder and a few tablespoons of orange juice. I also added an apple as the recipe called for a cup of apple juice.
Blender vegetable soups are beautiful in the cold weather—actually I’ve heard that cold ones are nice in the summer, but that’s another season. If you don’t have a countertop blender, it’s possible to get good results with a handheld beater or blender.