Joanna's Carrot Soup

As the days get colder, windy and rainy, nothing gives me more comfort than to prepare and then savor, a good bowl of homemade soup!
Soups are nutritious, easy to freeze, you can take them to work and if you dress them up a bit, they can make the perfect opening to your three course meal at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I will be sharing a few soups 'with a twist' the coming weeks, starting with my godmother's, classic. She introduced us to this recipe during our first visit to Sherborne, where she used to live. It is simple, but with a few extraordinary ingredients, it turns into the dish everybody goes crazy for.

I must be honest with you, if you like thick soups to be smooth, silky and very creamy (like the ones served in good restaurants), you will need to save up and acquire a Vitamix®. There is just no blender in the world that even comes close to the performance of this machine. It is an investment, yes, but if you love cooking and health food, put it on your wish list. You will not regret it. It is an investment for life.
Of course you can prepare soups with other (hand)blenders, they will just turn out more grainy.

You need
•(Vitamix®) blender
•large saucepan
•zester/paring knife

(for 1 gallon/3,8 l of soup)
•2 tbs of virgin olive/coconut oil
•2 medium onions, chopped
•1,5 kg/8 cups of washed and cubed carrots
•3 l/12 cups of vegetable stock
•the zest an orange (one big curl will do)
•1 inch piece /1 tbs of grated fresh ginger
•cold almond milk
•salt and pepper

Putting it together
•In a large saucepan, warm the oil and add the chopped onions over medium heat. Sauté until soft for a few minutes. Stir frequently until slightly see-through;
•Add the cubed carrots and continue to sauté, stirring frequently until slightly softened (about 5 minutes)
•Add the vegetable stock
•Add the fresh ginger (if you have a strong blender, you will not need to grate it first);
•Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer till vegetables are soft
•Let it cool a bit and then blend
•Return to the saucepan and add black pepper and/or salt to taste

I have served this soup for Christmas before in a cappuccino cup, then added frosted almond milk on the top. Not only does it look amazing, I was surprised to see how it also keeps the soup warm (giving you plenty of time to serve everybody). Finally, you can add a couple of fine orange zest curls for looks. Always a success!
If you don't have a frother, there are alternatives for foaming milk that will work for almond milk as well, and help you get the same result!