Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger
Wild carrots have been around for millennia, but the cultivated variety is believed to have originated in Afghanistan around the 9th century. By the 1100s carrots had spread to Spain through the Middle East and North Africa. Today they are available year round in grocery stores. When buying, look for plump, firm carrots without cracks.
Try to use fresh ginger because it has a mellow, full-bodied taste, whereas ground ginger is spicier. Buy ginger tubers that are smooth, heavy and firm with a spicy fragrance. Also, while you can use store bought orange juice, the soup is tastier if you prepare fresh orange juice for the recipe. And a bit of fresh lemon juice balances the sweetness of the carrots and orange. Beta-carotene from carrots, vitamin C from orange juice and orange zest and gingerol from ginger – all provide beneficial antioxidant properties. Sprinkle soup with roasted pumpkin seeds or add crunch with a few whole-grain croutons.
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chopped carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable stock or broth may be substituted)
- 4 large strips orange zest
- 1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, optional
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped chives (dill may be substituted)
In large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add carrots and onions. Sauté about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté additional 2 minutes.
Add broth and orange zest strips. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, uncover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Let mixture cool for several minutes. Discard orange zest strips.
Working in batches, in food processor or blender purée mixture until velvety smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in ginger and orange and lemon juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Over low heat, let soup simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to mingle. Garnish with chives and serve.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 150 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 140 mg sodium.
Sweet Roasted Root Veggies
This warm one-pot meal is full of hearty root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and beets that pack fiber and cancer-fighting carotenoids. Roasting gives them a slightly sweeter flavor that pairs nicely with a tangy dressing.
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
- 1 small sweet potato, about 8-oz, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 medium potato, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (peeled parsnip may be substituted)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch slices
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 2 medium celery stalks, 3/4-inch slices
- 1 medium beet, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp. cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl toss potatoes, carrot, onion, celery and beet with 1/2 tablespoon oil, coating well. Arrange vegetables in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring several times, until tender and beginning to brown, about 50 minutes.
In mixing bowl, whisk vinegar, lemon juice and Dijon with remaining oil and stir in parsley, cilantro and walnuts. Drizzle dressing over vegetables and gently toss. Top with crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings.
Per 3/4 cup serving: 156 calories, 9 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 17 g carbohydrate, 3 protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 134 mg sodium.