Halleluia! Junior is slowly emerging from his “peanut butter toast obsession” and moving on to cream of vegetable soup with lots of crusty French bread. Hold while I pinch myself, yes, you heard me… vegetable! Any mother’s favourite word when not preceded by “hates his”.
So said mother (moi) is more than happy to cook up large quantities of one or two homemade vegetable soups every week. Like this cream of carrot and sweet potato which the half-pint devoured on the spot. So much so that, when I suggested we go to the restaurant for our weekly lunch of soup and cake, Junior explained that, no Mom, we don’t have to, there’s soup in the fridge. Shock you say?
Over time, I have learned to obtain the perfect consistency for this creamy soup that requires no cream whatsoever. 8 cups of chicken broth (or half-broth, half-water), 4 cups of diced vegetables and straining the blended soup will produce a savoury, liquid soup. I think this was the winning touch with my pick eater, who used to reject any thick soup that even closely resembled vegetable mash.
Of course, you can replace the carrots and sweet potato with any root vegetable such as parsnips, squash, potatoes, etc. For an adult version, garnish soup with toasted fennel or cumin seeds, fresh grated ginger, a touch of sour cream, fresh coriander, toasted pine nuts, you know the drill. Plain, this soup is 100% kid approved! Do tell me how your picky eater likes it.
You don’t say?
The best way to peel ginger? Like with so many fruit and vegetables, the taste of ginger is strongest right under the skin. When you peel ginger with a knife, you’re actually removing too much skin and therefore too much flavour. Use a small spoon instead, gently peeling off skin with the tip. It’s even faster and easier than with a knife. How about that…
Cream of carrot and sweet potato soup with ginger
• 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter or extra-virgin olive oil (or a mix of both)
• 1 small chopped onion
• 30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh grated ginger
• 4-5 large carrots coarsely diced
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and coarsely diced
• 2 L (8 cups) chicken broth (or half-broth, half-water)
• salt and pepper
1. Heat oil and butter in a large pot. Over low heat, gently cook onion and ginger 10 minutes or so. Do not brown.
2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
3. Blend soup, then strain for a light creamy consistency. (You will also be removing any ginger bits, in my experience, kids who bite into them put on the brakes real fast.) Adjust seasoning.
4. Serve plain for kids, garnish to choice for a more adult version, using suggestions in the intro. Bon appétit.
P.S. Oh yes, I have tried to increase the quantity of ginger but it did not sail with my little Inquisitor. If you are ginger crazy like me, take solace knowing that the taste of ginger increases with reheating…?