Soup can be wonderfully satisfying and phenomenally healthy if you make it with the right ingredients. In this case, the “right” ingredients include warming herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and pepper, combined with creamy coconut and a hint of carrots and sweet potato for a bit of sweetness.
This carrot coconut soup is simple to prepare – make it in big batches so you’ll have some leftover to freeze. It’s particularly suited for cool fall and winter days, but, really, you can enjoy this soup any time of year.
What Makes Carrot Coconut Soup so Good for You?
Two words: whole foods. Each ingredient in this carrot coconut soup is real; there’s no modified food starch, potassium chloride, soy protein isolate, caramel color, or monosodium glutamate (MSG), which are examples of the additives commonly found in canned soups.
When you make homemade soup, you control the ingredients, which means that the end product is not only far more delicious but far healthier, too. In the carrot coconut soup recipe that follows, for instance, you’ll find a rich assortment of veritable superfoods, which you get to enjoy in each and every bowl.
Coconut milk is made from the expressed juice of grated coconut meat and water. About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.
Lauric acid is a type of medium chain fatty acid (MCFAs), which is easily digested and readily crosses cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat.
There are numerous studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study that showed rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.1
Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in MCFAs lost more fat tissue, presumably due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCFA intake.2 In addition, coconut milk is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, including vitamins C, E and B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene (pre-vitamin A), vitamin K1, vitamin C, and calcium. I generally recommend eating carrots in moderation because they contain more sugar than any other vegetable aside from beets.
However, when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, the nutrients in carrots may provide you with protection against heart disease and stroke while helping you to build strong bones and a healthy nervous system. In particular, carrots are associated with a 32 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease3 and a lower risk of heart attacks in women.
Antioxidants in carrots, including beta-carotene, may also play a role in cancer prevention. Research has shown that smokers who eat carrots more than once a week have a lower risk of lung cancer, while a beta-carotene-rich diet may also protect against prostate cancer.
Using carrots in soup may be ideal, as the nutrients such as beta-carotene and phenolic acids appear to increase when carrots are cooked.
•2-3 large carrots, chopped small
•1 onion, chopped small
•1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
•1 1/2 tsp curry powder
•1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
•1 14 ounce can coconut milk
•sea salt, to taste
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Simmer the carrots, onions, ginger and curry powder in vegetable broth for 20-25 minutes, until carrots are soft.
Allow to cool slightly, and then puree in blender, working in batches if needed.
Return to heat and stir in coconut milk until well combined.
Season generously with sea salt, to taste.
Serve hot, or, chill until cold and serve as a gourmet vegetarian and vegan appetizer soup. This carrot soup will thicken as it cools, so if serving this vegan carrot soup cold, you may want to add a bit extra liquid.
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