By Marie Asselin
My mom is an excellent cook. When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to enjoy homemade lunches and dinners every single day. She was a clever planner, and she usually bought everything she needed for a whole week of meals in just one grocery trip.
Because she didn’t like to waste anything, come the end of the week, she would blitz withered vegetables in the blender to make a delicious, creamy soup for lunch. No two soup batches ever tasted or looked exactly the same, but I loved them all. They were a dose of vegetables I didn’t balk at, especially after walking home from school on a cold January day.
When I moved out of my parents’ house, her humble vegetable soups were the ones I had the most trouble reproducing on my own. Every time I’d make one, I would find it bland and boring. It’s only when I stopped trying to exactly reproduce them that I began enjoying my own creations. This flavourful soup combines more “exotic” ingredients than my mother used to cook with, but eating it makes me feel just as warm inside.
Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup, Courtesy of Marie Asselin, FoodNouveau.com, Quebec City
This soup is a wonderful way to use up leftover vegetables at the end of the week.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tsp (5 ml) Madras curry powder
½ head cauliflower, in florets
1 lb (454 g) carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet potato (about 12 oz/340 g), peeled and chopped
4 cups (1 L) vegetable or chicken broth
½ tsp (2 ml) sea salt or kosher salt
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions; sauté until softened and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add grated ginger and curry powder and cook 1 minute more, until fragrant.
3. Add cauliflower florets, carrots and sweet potato to pot, stirring to coat vegetables with spice mixture.
4. Stir in broth and salt. Partially cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
5. Purée the soup in batches in a blender, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If desired, serve topped with Greek yogurt and cilantro.
Marie Asselin is a French-Canadian food/travel translator and writer, blogger and passionate cook with a weakness for sweets. She is the author of the food and travel blog Food Nouveau, the artistic director of Quebec City’s online food magazine, Fou des foodies, and Travel+Leisure’s Quebec City expert.