I love the color orange. It’s perky and assertive at the same time. It conjures up a fragrance (that can be used to cover some not-so-pleasant odors in certain urban areas), and the bright hue is worn by inmates to make it easier to spot them. When I was little, kids said my hair was orange. They called me carrot top (but carrot tops are green I would shout back) and teased me incessantly about my ginger locks. I hated my orange hair….until I got much older. Old enough to appreciate how being a redhead made me special, made me different, made me awesome. (Ok, I’d probably be awesome anyway, just ask my sister). Sure my hair continued to get me in trouble–you have heard that redheads are hotheads and troublemakers, right? And I was pulled aside all through my life by those in authority because I was so easy to pick out of a crowd. Sigh.
Many say it isn’t easy being green…well, it isn’t easy being orange either. Unless you’re a carrot. Carrots are indeed lovely and appreciated for their bright color. Orange fruits and vegetables are high in carotenoids like beta carotene, which help the body absorb vitamin A and prevent free-radical damage, and vitamin C. Plus they are delicious and many are in season right now like carrots, oranges, winter squash and persimmons.
It’s soup season, and I often find myself with a pot of something simmering on the stove. I used to make this soup a lot when I was first married (it’s that easy), but have only recently come back to it. Try adding a hunk of peeled ginger as it simmers (and discard it before pureeing the mixture) to spice it up a bit if you want.
Carrot Orange Soup
Carrots and oranges complement each other beautifully, both in color and flavor. I like to make a big pot of this soup and eat it for lunch over several days, but it would also be a perfect first course at a larger holiday meal. Or you could pour it into a large mason jar and deliver it, along with a loaf of bread, to a party host or friend who is under the weather. Who doesn’t love soup?
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: serves 4
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter (or additional olive oil)
- 2 pounds of carrots, scrubbed and chopped into ½-inch slices
- One large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, washed and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1-2 quarts of vegetable stock
- Zest from one orange
- Juice from one orange
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic and salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Do not let vegetables brown. Add one quart of vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Using an immersion blender, a blender, or a food processor, puree soup in batches until completely smooth. Take care not to over fill the blender and make sure to vent the lid so the soup doesn’t explode. Return soup to pot and add orange zest and orange juice and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If soup is too thick, add additional broth until it is the right consistency. Drizzle with cream or a dollop of plain yogurt if desired.