I feel like I was running around in circles this past Holiday Season! There were so many fun things to do and get ready for, between Santa Brunches, Hanukkah parties, holiday concerts, and gift giving! In the midst of all of this activity, it's nice to have a little surprise come in the mail for me, rather than the usual brown box with gifts for the kids.
Full disclosure: my husband did actually get me some very nice things, but in terms of surprises, the lovely folks at Yummly and KitchenAid gifted me a gorgeous new blender - the K400! I haven't named it yet, (my KitchenAid stand mixer is called "Martha"), but I did give it a spin (ha!) when creating this delicious, vegan, Thai-inspired, Carrot Coconut Soup!
Velvety, rich with coconut cream, and spiced with lemongrass, Thai chilis, garlic, and kaffir lime leaves... this soup is amazingly warming on a cold day! I roasted the carrots to bring out their natural sweetness before adding them to the soup pot. This adds such a great dimension of flavor to a pretty humble root veg. Super-filling and vegetable heavy, you wouldn't know it was vegan.
In regards to the blender, it would be very difficult to find a better example in this price point, and the K400 definitely accomplished everything I needed it to do with ease. It has the same high-end finish as my other KitchenAid appliances, as well as beautiful lines, an impressive amount of power, and smooth control features... I'd definitely put this on my shopping list!
Make sure to follow me on Instagram & Facebook @straighttothehipsbaby! You'll get behind the scenes glimpses of my recipe shoots, articles that I love, and fun posts from my foodie friends!
Thai-Style Coconut Carrot Soup (Vegan)
1 1/2 pounds whole carrots
32 ounces vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
6 ounces of coconut milk
1 tablespoon (for roasting) + 2 teaspoons (for sautéing) avocado oil
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 stalks of lemongrass
1 or 2 thai chilis
juice of 1/2 a fresh lime
2 dried kaffir lime leaves
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt + more to taste
Preheat your oven to 425F.
Peel, trim the tops off, and cut your carrots into 2 inch long pieces. Place into a large mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil & 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Mix to give the carrots an even coating of the oil/salt, then spread evenly on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking.
Roughly dice the onion and crush the garlic. Trim & dice the Thai chili(s), seeds and all.
In a soup pot, heat 2 teaspoons of avocado oil medium.
Add the onion and garlic. While stirring occasionally, cook the onions until slightly translucent but not browned. We don't want to burn or add color to the vegetables here.
Once the onions are slightly translucent and softened, quickly add the Thai chili(s) and cook for one minute.
Slice the lemongrass stalks partway through, and then bruise them by hitting repeatedly with the back of your knife. This helps to release the oils.
Add the stock, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, and coconut milk to the soup put and bring to a boil.
Then add the roasted carrots, and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, and pull out the lemongrass & kaffir lime leaf (these aren't really edible, just there for the flavor).
In small batches, pour your soup into a blender; blend until smooth.
Garnish with fried pieces of carrot, a drizzle of coconut milk and fresh cilantro leaves, as you see fit.