Ginger-Spiced Carrot Soup with Kohlrabi Relish (Vellutata di Carote allo Zenzero con Insalata di Cavolo Rapa)

This meal was inspired by a box of almost impossibly fresh produce from Double L Market in Westport, CT.  I was especially motivated by the cartoonishly large carrot (2 inches in diameter and 10 inches long!) that I couldn’t resist buying.  I also picked up some mizuna, a mildly bitter lettuce I’d never tried before (it is delish).  If you can’t get a hold of this unusual lettuce, I think arugula would be a good substitute.  The ginger, too, was juicy and tender- the kind of fresh you can never get at the grocery store (nope, not even Whole Foods).  This box of vegetables and the soup it spawned was no doubt the highlight of my day.  I hope you like it too.

Please note that this soup is spicy, all thanks to the extremely fresh ginger.  It’s hard to believe there’s no capsaicin (hot pepper), but the spice is definitely there, with a bit of tang.  The bread was amazingly fresh and had been brought to the market from a bakery in New Haven, CT.  It was made with whole wheat and rye flours and without preservatives.

Serves 4-6 (Serve 4-6)

For the Soup:

6-7 regular carrots (or 1 enormous one), peeled and chopped*

2-inch piece FRESH ginger, peeled and minced

3 celery stalks, sliced

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon white or yellow miso paste

salt and pepper

2/3 cup almond milk (or 2% organic cow milk if you don’t care whether or not this is vegan)

Kohlrabi Relish:

1 (~1 lb) kohlrabi cabbage head, peeled and diced

1/2 apple, finely diced

4 scallions, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced

1 bunch mizuna (stalks included) or a handful of arugula, chopped

For the Kohlrabi Marinade:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg or other high quality type)

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2-3 teaspoons white or yellow miso paste

salt and pepper, to taste

To Serve:

florets from 1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Whole grain organic bread, sliced

1 avocado, mashed

What to do:

Whisk the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

Place the kohlrabi, apple, scallions and cilantro in a medium bowl.  Toss with marinade and set aside.

Put the carrots, ginger and celery in a medium pot with just enough water to cover.  Heat over medium-low heat and allow to come to a simmer.  Be careful not to boil.

Let simmer gently until carrots are just tender.  (This is a good time to give the relish another toss.)  Purée with an immersion blender.

Turn heat to low and add coriander, miso and almond milk.  Simmer on low for 2 minutes to allow miso to melt and flavors to marry.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss relish one more time, this time adding the mizuna.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with relish** and broccoli “croutons”.  Serve with bread smeared with mashed avocado.

*While carrots’ enzymes are best assimilated when cooked, carrots only need to be lightly cooked, or else the enzymes end up getting completely destroyed.  Luckily, the smaller you chop the carrots, the less you have to cook them, thereby preserving their nutrients.

**Don’t use use a slotted spoon to serve the relish, as the marinade flavors the soup :).

Vellutata di Carote allo Zenzero con Insalata di Cavolo Rapa:

Ingredienti:

Per la Vellutata:

6-7 carote, pelate e affettate*

pezzo di zenzero fresco a 5 cm, pelato e tritato

3 gambi di sedano, affettati

2 cucchiaini di seme di coriandolo macinato

1 cucchiaio di pasta di miso bianco

sale e pepe

150 ml di latte di mandorle (oppure latte parzialmente scremato, se vi va bene che non sia vegana)

Insalata di Cavolo Rapa:

1 (~500gm) cavolo rapa, pelato e tagliato a cubetti

1/2 mela, tagliata a cubetti

4 cipolline, affettate

1/2 tazza di coriandolo fresco, tritato

1 grappolo di mizuna, oppure una manciata di rucola, tagliata

Per la Marinata:

60 ml d’aceto di mele di alta qualità

1 cucchiaio di olio d’oliva o di olio di vinacciolo

1 cucchiaio di senape di Digione

2-3 cucchiaini di pasta di miso bianco

sale e pepe, a piacere

Per servire:

infiorescenze d’un grappolo di broccoli, tagliate a pezzi piccoli

pane integrale biologico, tagliato

1 avocado, pestato

Cosa fare:

Frustate le ingredienti per la marinata in una scodella piccola.

Mettete il cavolo rapa, la mela, le cipolline e il coriandolo fresco in un’insalatiera non molto grande.  Mescolate con la marinata e mettete da parte.

In una pentola media, metteteci le carote, lo zenzero e il sedano con dell’acqua che giusto copre la verdura.  Mettete sul fuoco medio-basso e fate sobbollire, facendo attenzione che non bolla.

Lasciate sobbollire giusto finché le carote non siano cotte.  (A questo punto, darei l’insalta un’altra mischiata.)  Quindi, fateci una purea col frullatore a immersione.

Abbassate il fuoco e aggiungete il seme di coriandolo, la pasta di miso e il latte di mandorle.  Fate sobbollire altri due minuti, così il miso si scioglie e i gusti si congiungono.  Insaporite con sale e pepe a piacere.

Mischiate l’insalata un’altra volta, questa volta con la mizuna o la rucola.

Servite la vellutata con mestolo e guarnite con l’insalata** e i pezzetti di broccoli.  Servite da parte delle fette di pane spalmate d’avocado.

*Nonostante gli enzimi delle carote siano meglio assimilati quando le carote sono cotte, non devi scotterle, altrimenti distruggi quegli enzimi.  Dunque, più piccole sono le fette, meno le devi cuocere, così preservando loro nutrienti.

**Non usate un mestolo perforato per servire l’insalata, dato che la marinata insaporisce la vellutata :).

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