Meatless Mondays: Dirty Carrot and Ginger Soup

The perfect remedy for the flu.

(Photo: Ian Knauer)

Ian Knauer is a regular contributor to TakePart. He worked for ‘Gourmet’ and is the author of the IACP Award–nominated cookbook ‘The Farm.’

I like to brag that I never get sick. And mostly that is true. I owe it to the large quantity of dirt that I was fed as a child by my grandmother, who insisted that a pound of dirt a year would keep children healthy. Between the minerals and the microbial bacteria I had the foundation of a healthy immune system that has served me well.

For the most part.

This week, however, I came down with a killer flu that kept me just on this side of consciousness and out of the kitchen.

Luckily, I have some caring friends who also like to cook, and one came over this week to make me soup. This is a get-better soup for a couple reasons. Ginger is a pronounced flavor, and she adds it both cooked and raw. Ginger’s enzymes help to soothe inflammation (throat!), and it calms the digestive system (stomach!). Its flavor is warming and cozy (soul!).

But the thing that really struck me about this soup was the carrots. They are also added cooked and raw, but my friend doesn’t peel them. This makes the soup taste a little less sweet because of the carrot skin’s slight bitterness, but it also means that no matter how well you wash them, some dirt will come along for the ride. Maybe there is something to Grandma’s superstition after all.

Dirty Carrot and Ginger Soup

Serves 4

2 lbs. carrots, washed but unpeeled

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger

6 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Coarsely chop the carrots. Reserve 1/4 of the carrots, and toss the remaining carrots with the oil, 1/2 the ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread the carrot mixture on a baking sheet and roast until the carrots are tender and golden, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to a simmer.

Puree the roasted carrots, reserved raw carrots and ginger, stock, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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