Do you like carrot soup? I personally love it and think it’s highly underrated. I make mine with fresh veggies and some simple Indian spices for an extra kick.
I love a deep orange colored carrot soup so I only used orange carrots, but feel free to use a variety. Deep purple carrots are the most nutritious thanks to a concentrated source of anthocyaninins, which have more antioxidant activity and more health benefits than the orange variety. Purple carrots are known for their disease fighting properties. They promote heart health, fight inflammation, aide in weight loss, and prevent cancer. There is even a research study showing drinking purple carrot juice reversed all metabolic diseases in rats independent of their diet. Nevertheless, orange carrots are still a healthy alternative. They are a good source of beta-carotene and with a few simple changes you can triple the nutrients you get from orange carrots and enhance the flavor at the same time!
For the best flavor, buy carrots with the green tops still attached. They are at most a few weeks old (carrots without their tops can be several months old!) The most phytonutrients are in the outer third of the carrot so never peel them and stay away from baby carrots (they are already scrubbed and peeled so they have lost much of their nutritional benefits). Cut off the greens before you store them in the fridge to retain the most moisture in the carrot.
Carrots are actually healthiest when cooked. It makes their nutritional profile more bio-available. One study showed volunteers who consumed cooked carrots over raw absorbed 3x more beta-carotene than people who consumed the same amount raw. Also, eating fat with them helps you to absorb this nutrient because beta-carotene is fat soluble. Finally, if you really want the greatest nutritional profile, cook your carrots whole. Sure it takes longer but you will retain 25% more falcarinol, a cancer fighting compound found in carrots.
- Choose whole carrots with their greens attached
- Never peel them
- Cook them whole
- Eat them with some type of fat
Carrot Ginger Soup
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced let sit out 10 minutes before cooking to increase anti-cancer properties
- 1 lb carrots scrubbed, unpeeled and left whole (see blog post for reasons why)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Cumin, gram masala, cayenne, cinnamon and salt to taste
- Saute onion in coconut oil. When softened, add garlic and ginger. Continue to sautee for a few minutes more.
- Add whole carrots and broth.
- Simmer 20 minutes or until carrots are very tender with a fork.
- Blend in a high powered blender. Add a bit more broth if too thick. Then season starting with 1/4tsp of each herb and increasing as needed from there until you reach your desired level of seasoning and salt.