This recipe is adapted from the “dinner on a dollar” Mexican White Bean Soup featured in the November 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I substituted parsnips, eggplant, and extra carrots for the beans, and added 1/2 cup nutritional yeast for a bit of richness and extra dose of vitamins.
Combined with the citrus flavor, the slight sweetness of the carrots and heat from the salsa give this dish a complex flavor profile. If you or any of your guests are intolerant of spicy foods, it may be best to prepare a milder version of the salsa verde instead. In situations such as this I have prepared two different versions (one spicy, one mild) but if you’re short on time I would suggest making one (mild) version served with ground cayenne pepper on the side. If a milder salsa is desired, modifications are offered in the recipe as follows.
While I prefer hot soups this time of year, especially considering how cold it has been lately, this Spicy Carrot and Orange Soup is also delicious served chilled.
Spicy Carrot & Orange Soup
4 medium carrots (2 cups, sliced)
2 parsnips (cups, sliced)
1 medium eggplant
2 large onions (2 cups, chopped)
4 stalks celery, (2 cups) chopped
1 tsp olive oil (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt. I likeCeltic Sea Salt®and Himalayan salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
Fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup fresh salsa verde (recipe follows)
Sauté onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a small amount of water or 1 tbsp olive oil until tender. Add 6 cups water and stir in cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are boiled.
Transfer vegetables and broth to to a blender or food processor in increments, depending on the size of your appliance. Blend until soup is a rough puree. Shred 1 teaspoon peel from orange; then juice the orange. Remove from heat. Stir in orange juice, orange peel and salsa verde. Simmer for 2 minutes or until soup is hot. Top with cilantro and sprinkle with cayenne to taste.
This salsa verde utilizes many fresh ingredients in addition to canned salsa verde and jalepeno peppers. If fresh tomatillos are not available, canned tomatillos can be used instead with a slightly different yet equally satisfying result.
For a mild version, the jalepenos can be replaced with mild green chiles. Fresh green bell peppers can be used in place of the fresh serrano peppers.
1 medium onion
4 serrano peppers
1 4oz can diced jalapenos
1 4 oz can prepared salsa verde
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic
Chop all fresh ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Add canned ingredients, squeeze in lime juice, and mix thoroughly. Serve atop Spicy Carrot and Orange Soup and a sprig of cilantro for garnish.