In the last two days, New York City has finally been treated to the first few telling signs of spring: melting ice, non-parka temperatures, warm and lasting late afternoon sun. I’ve always had an unusual relationship with spring; the season is a relief in so many ways, but it also makes me a little melancholy and nostalgic. The fresh beginnings and feelings of renewal that most people seem to associate with March, April, and May typically come to me in the fall, which is always my most energetic season (I’m sure that has something to do with the fact that I’ve been a student for a long time).
This year, though, I’m ready for spring. I’ve been feeling cooped up and cabin feverish, and it’s time for a change. What I don’t want to change is the steady rotation of warming, spiced soups I’ve been enjoying lately, and this carrot, turmeric, and ginger soup with cumin roasted chickpeas is my favorite.
Steven and I are developing something of a weekend food “rhythym.” On Sunday, I make a big casserole: something filling, which will last us two nights; I get home late on Mondays, so this makes life easy, and it’s a nice end-of-weekend ritual to layer something in a casserole dish, or prepare some other sort of one-pot wonder. On Saturday nights, I take it easy with cooking. It’s usually either a dinner salad or a soup/salad combination. This past Saturday, it was a big kale salad paired with a warm, fragrant, and soul-lifting bowl of this carrot soup.
This is certainly not my first carrot soup on CR, and it’s likely not my last. It is, however, my first carrot soup that puts freshly grated turmeric to use. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, and it has become one of my favorite ingredients. I add it to a variety of dishes: nut pates, soups, tofu scrambles, and even a turmeric milk (which is heavenly). I often use ground turmeric, but lately I’m finding that freshly grated turmeric root adds even more flavor and color to food, and I love it in this soup. If ground turmeric is what you have, that’s totally fine: it’ll still add plenty of flavor.
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the roasted chickpeas. They add so much character to the dish! I love thick, pureed soups, but I think it’s really important to give them a touch of texture for garnish (be it nuts, seeds, the addition of chopped greens, or what have you).
By the way, you’ll see that I offer both cashew cream and coconut milk as options here. I personally prefer the more neutral flavor of cashew cream, but either is fine. I often prepare cashew cream at the start of a week to use in soups, stews, and/or creamy pasta dishes. It’s an incredibly handy recipe to keep around.
Serving ideas! I’d pair the soup with a hearty salad (something with grains, root vegetables, and/or legumes, and perhaps a nice sprinkle of nuts/seeds) or a nice vegetable side dish and a serving of baked tofu or tempeh. No matter how you serve it, I hope love it. Happy Tuesday, friends.