OMFG its cold! Being back in the Northeast for a full Winter has me realizing just how full of shiat Whats-His-Name was when he was talking about S.F. Summers being the coldest thing ever. But the Northeast's Winters, and the year round S.F. climate have one thing in common; they are both perfect for soup!
Everyone loves soup. If you don't love soup you must be an alien, because you certainly are not a citizen of this planet. So far this Winter we have spent a lot of meals (and not a lot of time or money!) eating soup. This particular one came to me right before I was leaving work. I was thinking that the only produce I had in the house was potatoes, carrots, and scallions; but I didn't really want to go shopping for a bunch of stuff, and alas, it was born. This here soup is hearty, packs a lot of flavor, and the ginger warms you up pretty damn well. Plus, its not too carrot-y. So yeah, let's go!
2.5 pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 large Carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 large Yellow Onion, diced
4 cups (1 Quart) Veggie Broth
2 Tbsp. 2X Tomato Paste, because its awesome
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
1-2 cups Unsweetened Soy Milk
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp. Ground Ginger
salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro Scallion Pesto: *
1 bunch of scallions, washed and de-rooted
1 bunch of cilatro, washed and de-rooted
2 Tbsp. Lime Juice
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup + of Safflower Oil (remember, I told you so...)
salt and pepper to taste
Get a big pot. Put it over medium heat. Add Earth Balance and onions and saute' until translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Toss in the 2X tomato paste and let it toast for 2 minutes. DO NOT PUT THE GINGER IN NOW. I don't mean to yell, but most soups would call for the ginger to come in at the beginning of the soup, and well, that just really mutes its flavor, not to mention cooking away some of its awesome benefits. Just put the ginger down. Do it slowly. OK. Deep breath. Now back to cooking.
Sprinkle the pot with a lil pepper (cayenne if you wanna be dangerous), and then throw in the carrots, potatoes, and veggie broth. Put a lid on the pot and get a drink. These veggies will cook through in about 20-26 minutes, so we should probably make the pesto.
Get out your food processor (or chop-chop-grindy-shreddy mah-cheen as I like to call it) and put all the ingredients inside. Puree' them. After that difficult task you deserve another drink. G'head and grab one. I can wait.
* - Side note! This makes an awful lot of pesto. It isn't a bad thing. It has served us well, let me recount the ways so far...
1. Added to mashed avocado it is instant guacamole
2. It is a great topping for burritos and tacos
3. It was a pivotal ingredient in the dip for the recipe below
4. Chips and... Pesto? Hell yes!
5. We still have about 1.25 cups in the freezer to play with. OH YEAH! I forgot to mention that it freezes really well and can be frozen without losing flavor for a really long time.
Back to the soup. By now your veggies should be fork tender and ready to rock n' roll. So grab your immersion blender and let's get down to business. Don't turn off the heat the whole way just yet. Add in the nutritional yeast and 1 cup of the soy milk (or almond, rice, cow, goat, pterodactyl, whatever) and start to blend. If you need or want a looser consistency then just keep added more liquid. Is it totally blended and smooth? Now, add the ginger and blend for another minute. Aiiiight. You are ready to season and get down to some serious grub.
Add some of the pesto to the soup and chow down! BTW, you don't have to make dots. You can do zig-zags, tie dye prints, write names in the soup, it's all good.