Root vegetables make this soup nutrient rich and satisfying

Take advantage of the fall harvest by preparing warm soups that are rich and satisfying – you won’t even realize they’re healthy.

Root vegetables make this soup nutrient rich and satisfying

The fall harvest brings richness to our tables in the form of fruits and vegetables, including root vegetables. A root vegetable is a plant root used as vegetables. Basic favorites are carrots, turnips, beets, garlic, carrots, onions, parsnips, rutabaga and sweet potatoes. Michigan State University Extension offers bulletins for carrots and sweet potatoes on the Michigan Fresh website. These bulletins will guide your selection and storage of these foods, as well as offering food preservation information.

Carrots and sweet potatoes, with their deep, orange color are best known for being rich in beta carotene, a compound that may reduce heart disease and certain types of cancer, and vitamin A, which bolsters vision, bone growth and tooth development. These vegetables also supply vitamin C, folate and potassium. If you eat a 2,000 calorie per day diet, it is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that you eat approximately 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.

A great favorite meal during the fall is soup. A delicious recipe that uses carrots and sweet potatoes and two great spices, curry and ginger can be found in a nutrient rich soup that is nourishing and satisfying. Carrot Sweet Potato Soup from Mollie Katzen, a renowned chef and author, is posted below for your pleasure. You can share this with friends at a weekend gathering or with family for a quick evening meal.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 1/2 cup chopped shallots

3 cups (1/2 inch) cubed peeled sweet potato

6-7 large (1/4 inch) sliced peeled carrots

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 (13 ounce) can light coconut milk

2 cups water or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Make the soup: In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and a pinch of salt; cook about two minutes, stirring often. Add the carrots and stir occasionally, letting them sit and brown a bit (the shallot will start caramelizing too), about eight to 10 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato and ginger and cook another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth (or water) to the pot, bring to a gentle boil, and then reduce the heat. Simmer, partially covered, until the carrots and sweet potato are soft and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.

3. Purée with an immersion blender until completely smooth, or carefully in a blender (remember to leave several inches of headspace at the top of the blender, and cover the lid with a thick dishcloth to absorb any accidental hot splatters). Stir in more water if you want a thinner soup, and season to taste with salt. Reheat if necessary.

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