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Carrot-Ginger-Orange Soup: Special Start for Your Feast

Tired of the same old soups you've made for years? Just looking for something special? Try carrot-ginger-orange soup. It's made with ingredients that are readily available, economical, and nutritious. The soup takes humble carrots and turns them into something that will make your family and guests sit up and go "ummm." Really. I tried a variation of the soup while on vacation, expecting the soup to be tasteless and weird. Instead, it was smooth, creamy, and subtly spiced with ginger. Little pieces of mandarin orange (the kind from a can is fine) gave the soup texture and served as a nice, slightly astringent counterpoint to the sweet carrots. The soup was elegant but warming and filling. I never got the recipe for the soup (I did try) but recreated a version that I think is close to the original. My version isn't as smooth as the original, as I'm too lazy to pull out a blender and also like a little texture in my soups. If you'd like a smoother soup, feel free to put the soup mixture in the blender and then add the orange pieces later. The soup is great to start a fancy meal or as a healthy light meal on it's own.

Carrot Ginger Orange Soup

Carrot-Ginger-Orange Soup -- Serves 4+

16 ounce bag of frozen carrots

4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons of minced dried onions

1 tablespoon of dried minced chives (plus additional to top the soup, if you like)

1/2 cup of orange juice

1 teaspoon of grated orange zest

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt (plus additional to top the soup, if you like)

1 cup of mandarin oranges (drained if from a can)

1/2 -1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (use less for less zing, more for more heat)

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the carrots, chicken broth, minced dried onions, chives, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and salt to a boil. Stir the mixture, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the carrots cook until they're mushy. This may take 45-60 minutes. Remove the carrots from the heat and mash them into the broth mixture using a potato masher. The mashing process will take some time, and you'll need to use some arm muscle, but it's quite therapeutic. Alternatively, put the carrot mixture into a blender and whir it until it's smooth. Put the soup back on the burner to rewarm it if necessary. Turn off the heat and whisk in the Greek yogurt. Stir in the mandarin orange pieces and the grated fresh ginger. Serve the soup topped with additional Greek yogurt and/or additional chives, if you like.

carrot ginger orange soup

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