In the spirit of Wintersköl, we honor last year’s Soupsköl 2.0 winner with their winning soup recipe.
Carrot Coconut Ginger Soup with Toasted Coconut and Basil
Castle Creek Café at Aspen Valley Hospital
Excerpted with permission from “The Aspen Cookbook” (Nov. 2020) AspenCookbook.com
“The sweet and savory flavors of this soup come together to 'defy ordinary' soup recipes,” quips AVH director of nutrition Kristy Bates, RDN, in a wink to the official motto of Aspen Snowmass. Prepared in some form at least 15 years at Castle Creek Café, the nutrient-dense, vegan concoction certainly defies typical hospital cafeteria food. Bates’s version, topped with aromatic toasted coconut and basil chiffonade, might be the ultimate: It was crowned champion of Soupsköl 2.0 at the Aspen Art Museum in January 2020.
Parchment paper or cooking spray
2 pounds carrots, unpeeled, scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
6-7 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, divided
1 can (about 15 ounces) coconut milk
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
Toasted Coconut Basil Garnish
¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
Roast the Carrots
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
Chop carrots into 1-inch chunks. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over carrots. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 pinch each salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Spread carrots evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Add 3 to 4 sprigs thyme. Roast 20 minutes. Toss carrots, rotate sheet, and roast another 15 to 20 minutes.
Cook the Soup
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon ginger. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until aromatics begin to brown. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth. Let flavors meld while carrots finish cooking.
When carrots are browned slightly around the edges, transfer to soup. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes until warmed through.
Make the Toasted Coconut Basil Garnish
Toast coconut on an ungreased baking sheet in 400°F oven about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning! Cool.
Stack, roll, and slice basil leaves (5 to 6 at a time) to chiffonade. Combine with cooled, toasted coconut.
Finish the Soup
Transfer carrot mixture to a food processor or high-powered blender. Add remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and thyme leaves stripped from sprigs. (Venting lid to allow hot steam to escape, carefully blend until smooth.) Taste and season with salt, if necessary. Divide among serving bowls and top with Toasted Coconut Basil Garnish.
Soup may be refrigerated up to 6 days or frozen up to 3 months. Reheat to 165°F before serving.