How are you enjoying fall so far? In case you’re wondering, I’ve been spending this fall dreaming up pumpkin recipes, apple recipes and soup recipes. Fall foods are my favorite and, like most Americans, I’m an avid fan of pumpkin spice. Have you noticed that the hype around pumpkin spice has seemed to have been reduced to a mere simmer this year? Alternatively, the hype around soup seems to be at every turn. There have been quite a few memes floating around in celebration of soup season and leaving pumpkin spice in the September dust. Don’t get me wrong-I absolutely love pumpkin everything, with the (rather ironical) exception of pumpkin spice lattes. However, I love soup just as much, so hype around soup instead of pumpkin spice is something I can get on board with. Creating the best fall soups is a delicious endeavor. In New England (at least in Maine) it’s somewhat of a joke that summer ends on Labor Day-the very beginning of September. I suppose the joke is always on us because summer does seem to end just after labor day, like clockwork. Suddenly the sardine-packed restaurants and bustling sidewalks become eerily quiet, bare and chilly. Hour-long waits for a table where the waves kiss the decks are long gone within a mere 24-hour period. Labor day in New England is natures Post-it to count your fleeces and flannels, stock up on squashes and spices, and make sure you have enough firewood in the barn. Labor Day- the annual omen of cold things to come- has come and gone, but now leaves us in the midst of soup season. Today I’m sharing a newly adapted favorite- a curry and roasted carrot soup.
The Best Fall Soups
Soup season comes at a perfect time for me, as I’ve been trying to include a lot more soup-eating in our meals. In general, I’ve been aiming to add one more course to our family dinners and I feel that soup fits in the best. Eating in courses is something we’ve adopted over the years and it’s grown on me. From my experience, Americans generally eat just one “course” at dinner-which can be a few different things (such as rice, veggies and a meat) or one thing (such as spaghetti and meatballs), instead of having a starter, main dish and then end course or dessert, one after the other. Sometimes multiple dishes will be on the table at once (such as spaghetti and meatballs, a salad, and garlic bread), for everyone to grab and eat as they please. A lot of our family meals were like this for me growing up, and I do serve dinner this way sometimes.
What do your family meals generally look like? Usually we start with some type of salad or cold vegetable starter. My go-to salad is mixed greens with sliced cucumbers and grated carrot. Sometimes I add avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, or fresh herbs. I always serve this with a basic homemade balsamic vinaigrette (Roman and I prefer this), and then ranch (Amelia and Ryan prefer this). I have yet to make a homemade ranch dressing, but it’s on my list. Fiona usually eats her veggies without greens and without dressing. She’ll grow into salads, I’m sure. Eating in courses has its benefits. It extends our family time, which I love, but it also offers the opportunity for more variety of nutrients at mealtimes. From my experience, some of the best fall soups are made with seasonal ingredients. Yes, it is a bit more dishes, clean up and preparation, but I’ve been working on making it as efficient as possible, and so far it hasn’t been too bad. Pureed soups have really caught my eye this season because (again!) of their efficiency. Usually you can create a pureed soup with just a few ingredients, and you don’t have to do very much. If you have a blender or stick blender, it’s really a matter of chopping a few vegetables and tossing them in the oven for an hour or so. This curry and roasted carrot soup has only a few simple veggies (carrots, onion and garlic). So this season, I’m thinking the best fall soups are the quick, pureed ones.
Curry and Roasted Carrot Soup
Curry and Roasted Carrot Soup
For the Roasted Vegetables
- 2 lbs Carrots
- 1 Large Yellow Onion
- 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
- Black pepper
- 1 Tsp Salt
For the Soup
- 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 Quart Chicken or Vegetable stock (about 4 Cups)
- 1 14 Oz Can Coconut Milk
- 1 Tsp Curry Powder (optional)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Roast the Vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Prepare your vegetables by peeling your carrots and cutting off the ends, as well as with the onion- peel and cut off each end.
- Quarter the onion, and then set both the carrots and onion in a large roasting pan. Drizzle oil all over and sprinkle the curry powder and salt on top of the vegetables. Roll the carrots around so they get evenly coated in oil, curry and salt. Lightly sprinkle everything with black pepper.
- Roast the vegetables for about 45 minutes- until the carrots start to brown and you can easily get a fork through the thickest carrot. Set aside and allow to cool.
Make the Soup
- Prepare the garlic by peeling it, and roughly chopping. (Remember this soup will be pureed so there is no need to chop too much since it will all be blended.)
- Set a large pot on the stove with a tablespoon of olive oil and set to low heat.
- Add the garlic and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often so it doesn't burn.
- Pour in the stock and let it warm up, but not come to a boil.
- Once the roasted vegetables have cooled, pour the garlic/stock, carrots and onion into a blender. Turn on high about 20-30 seconds to puree completely, then pour everything back into the pot. (If using a stick blender, put the carrots and onion into the pot of stock and use the stick blender until everything is fully pureed)
- Set the pot back to low heat to keep on a simmer.
- Add the coconut milk, and additional salt/pepper to taste. If you prefer the flavor to be more spicy, you can add an extra 1/2-1 teaspoon of curry powder.
- Serve hot, with fresh bread if you have it! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
A little more about me…
My name is Amber Rogals! I’m a food photographer, food stylist and recipe developer in Portland, Maine. I also work throughout Maine, and the New England area. I started my food blog, Downeats, as I love to inspire others to cook and enjoy delicious, healthy meals with their loved ones. I grew up and live in Maine with my (gorgeous, amazing, hardworking) high school sweetheart and our (hilarious, talented and wonderful) kiddos. I believe in living slow, enjoying life and love capturing those moments. You can read more about me here. If you are looking for a food photographer, food stylist or recipe developer please contact me here.
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