Perfect Autumn Soup
The leaves are twinkling from their branches and the temperatures are finally cooling! All we need now is the perfect creamy (without cream) Autumn soup to settle in with by the fire and admire Mother Nature’s annual wardrobe change from tangerines and gold to Winter white!
Let me start this recipe by saying I am not an especial enthusiast of carrots. But this classic French soup was a welcome surprise. From the star anise, to the vanilla, cilantro, ginger, and fragrance of almonds, to the beautiful shade of marigolds and exquisite creaminess, you almost forget that you are eating carrots (which I remind you are healthy, healthy, healthy!). The Vitamin A and the beta carotene are proven cancer reducers and fighters. Carrots should be on every grocery list because of their amazing ability to help your liver flush toxins from the body. Studies have also shown that people who eat carrots every week lower their risk for heart disease and strokes. Speaking to our vanity, carrots are a secret weapon in the fight to slow the aging process!
A Heart-Warming and Healthy Autumn Soup
8 large Carrots, washed and peeled (This week I found a bag of heirloom carrots in shades of red, bright purple and orange! Super fun!)
2 leaks (washed & trimmed, use white and green parts)
3 celery stalks, washed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 star anise
2 peeled Idaho potatoes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence (Note: A good variety includes thyme, basil, fennel, and lavender flowers)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. ginger
32 oz. vegetable or chicken broth & 3 cups of water
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cups almond milk
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, Italian parsley, mint) And reserve some extra for garnish at the end!
Sea salt & ground pepper
Toss your “mirepoix” of onions, leeks, celery, and carrots (cut into coins) with a dollop of coconut oil into the sauce pan. Sprinkle some Herbes de Provence and salt. Allow to sauté until the onions are translucent. Pour in your stock, water, vinegar and vanilla. Add in your potatoes, the star anise (just makes me smile seeing the star in the pot!), cinnamon & ginger. Stir to blend the flavors. Cover and allow to simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Turn off the heat. Remove the star anise and set aside. Add the almond milk, almond butter, cup of fresh herbs and stir until folded in nicely. Transfer soup directly to a blender and blend until smooth.
Garnish the soup with toasted almonds, a handful of fresh herbs, a squeeze of lime, and freshly ground pepper. Accompany the soup with a deliciously simple avocado toast. Slice thick a hearty loaf or baguette, drizzle with olive oil and toast under the broiler. Dress the bread with slices of avocado, salt & pepper, a squeeze of lemon and shavings of Parmessan. Voila! A beautiful Autumn meal!