The rainy days of Spring are finally here on the central coast of California. I am kinda breathing a sigh of relief. I cannot remember a more unseasonably warm and blue-skyed winter in a LONG time. I know that we are known for not truly having seasons, but what the heck was up with 80F weather in January and February? I know, I know….I sound lame even coming close to a complaint while the rest of the country has had record breaking cold snaps everywhere. I’m sorry. I have watched in horror at some of your weather induced nightmares, and this California native completely freaked out when the fire and rains ravaged Santa Barbara. However, I still feel like doing a rain dance for our parched land! I love opening up my weather app and seeing multiple little rain clouds scattered throughout my week. I am hoping for some gentle and soft Spring rain for all of us! The kind that kisses the earth and brings forth the blossoms and green blades of grass. The kind that beacons beautiful veggies and fruits to begin their spring wake-up and fill my kitchen with their rainbow of yumminess and health.
As seasons change, I tend toward kitchen rituals. In summer, I cannot resist the beautiful veggies that grow rampant in the California sun. I fill my kitchen and play with new dressing and salad creations, loving the snap of raw vegetables. In the autumn, I begin baking (something that I am not truly prone to the rest of the year). Then in winter, I turn to my huge cast iron dutch oven and begin making long simmered hearty stews that warm the house and my bones. I guess it makes sense that I turn my kitchen rituals towards spring veggies and herbs (which are growing like gangbusters in the rain). It is usually still a bit chilly to go all out salad crazy like I do in summer, so there are many times that I turn to making beautiful vegetable soups in the French tradition: silky and smooth. This little beauty that I am sharing with you today is sweet little vegan rendition that uses ginger, dill, and coconut cream to make the humble little carrot sing! You have gotta try it!
Start by sautéing a pound of carrots with a chopped onion in olive oil.
You can add the raw ginger by simply cutting slices about a 1/4 inch thick. You totally do not need to worry about peeling the ginger root, I am a big believer that that is just a waste of time. The skin is paper thin and will not mess with your final product…..so use the time you would have spent skinning the ginger and pour yourself a glass of wine instead 😉
I told you that I get hopping crazy over herbs in spring. When I say a bunch or bundle of dill, I mean it! Hahaha. Adding veggie broth and dill makes this creation ready to simmer away on the stove until the carrots are finished tenderizing.
Once the carrots are soft, you can remove the whole dill from the soup pot and discard.
(Note: Herbs give most of their flavor when they are fresh and green. I used this bunch of dill to help flavor the broth, but if you cannot get your hands on this much dill, then just use the dill as a finishing herb. Adding it only once the soup is finished and ready to be served…you will still get an a amazing kick of dill flavor!)
Add in your 1/2 cup of coconut cream and puree the soup for a velvet finish. I simply used my immersion stick (#favoritekitchentool), but you can use a blender if that is handy. Just make sure to let the soup cool first, if you go that route.
Finish the soup by stirring in the last bunch of freshly chopped dill.
I love to pair this soup with a gorgeous pumpernickel bread or some lovely rye crisp bread like pictured here. The flavors meld so prettily! If you want to indulge a little, use some Irish butter for your bread or crisps and you are set!
I’m not saying “rain, rain go away” with a soup this bright and happy!
Spicy and sweet, this smooth vegan carrot soup is the perfect way to enjoy the spring harvest of carrots and dill!
- 1 lb carrots chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices ginger 1/4" thick
- 2 bunches dill
- 16 oz vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- pumpernickel bread or rye crisps (optional)
- Irish butter (optional)
Begin by sautéing the carrots and onion in olive oil until the onion is soft.
Add the ginger slices, one bunch of dill (whole), vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Let cook covered over a medium heat until the carrots are tender.
Remove the dill and add the coconut cream. Blend the soup until smooth with an emulsion stick or a blender. (If using a blender, wait for the soup to cool slightly).
Finish the soup by stirring in the last bunch of fresh dill, chopped. Serve the soup hot, or cool, with a few slices of pumpernickel bread or rye crisps on the side...if living on the wild side, slather the bread with some gorgeous Irish butter like Kerry Gold. YUM