2010-05-03

Curried Carrot Soup with Pan Toasted Cornbread Croutons

Curried Carrot Soup with Pan Toasted Cornbread Croutons
Easy carrot soup topped with cornbread croutons.

Vegan Comfort in a Bowl


What I love about slow cookers? The obvious. It's a no-brainer. (Such an odd expression. I mean, if I had no brain would I care about soup?) Wait. Are zombies no-brainers? If so, I can relate. Totally. I've been feeling zombie-ish again, assaulted by the second wave of pollinating hostile trees here in my hip little hamlet of Santa Monica by the sea. Excuse me while I honk.

The dreaded oak. My nemesis.

In spite of hopeful neti pot usage I am brainless once again. Shambling. Screwing up paintings. Too tipsy for kettle-bells (I visualize my zombie-pitiful grip during a swing, letting the kettlebell fly out my fifth floor apartment window like a missile and knocking out some poor soul in the street below; if you read about a kettle-bell incident in the news, I swear I'm innocent).

And craving comfort food in a big way.

That is, easy comfort food. Not complicated comfort food. Who wants to stand at a stove right before dinnertime, chopping and stirring and simmering, when you can chop and toss in the morning and let a Crockpot do the work for you? Zip. Boom. Bonjour! The slow cooker must have been invented by a woman, right? Or maybe a zombie who had better things to do than sauté.

Free time. It's a gift.

Ask any zombie.




Curried carrot soup with cornbread croutons

Curried Carrot Soup Recipe

I love using a slow cooker when the weather turns warm and breezy. It frees me from kitchen duty just when I need it most- supper time. I love to be outside late in the day.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons mild gluten-free curry powder, or to taste
1 leek
4 large organic carrots
1 sweet potato
Half a banana squash {or butternut squash}
Fresh water, as needed
Sea salt, to taste


Instructions:

Plug in your (medium size) slow cooker and turn it on to high. Pour a drizzle of olive oil into the bottom. Add in the chopped garlic and curry powder. Stir and cover. Let the curry infuse the oil as you chop the vegetables.

You have music on, right?

Wash the leek, trim and slice the white section.

Peel, trim and chop the carrots.

Peel the sweet potato. Chop chop.

Peel the squash. Chop some more.

Toss all the chopped veggies into the warm crock and stir. Add just enough fresh water to cover them. Season with sea salt to taste.

Cover. 

Now go to work. Or not. Maybe go do something fun. Take photographs. Paint. Read a gardening book. Walk the dog. Color with your kids.

About temps- High vs Low::

If you keep the soup on high it will cook faster- say, four hours or so, depending upon your make and model (some crocks are bigger than others, I'm happy to tell you). If you need to stretch out the cooking time, turn the slow cooker on to low. It will be ready in perhaps, six hours. If you need to stretch it a bit longer I don't think it would hurt- as long as you've put enough water in the crock.

The soup is ready when the carrots are tender and split easily using a fork.

Now the fun part. Power tools.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender until the soup is silky smooth. Taste test. If it cooked down too much and is a tad thick, add some liquid  {for extra creaminess use a dash of coconut milk- although- I didn't add any extra "milk" and we loved the fresh, clean taste} and gently heat through for another ten minutes.

Serve with pan toasted cornbread croutons. See below.

Serves 4.




Easy Cornbread Croutons

Here's what I did for fabulous, crunchy gluten-free croutons {these were so good, I might make these for snacking}.

Instructions:

I started with:

1 package Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix

I followed the directions on the package, substituting the eggs with Ener-G Egg Replacer, and using water and olive oil to keep it vegan.

Ingredients I added:

1/2 teaspoon sea salt {I think the mix needs it}
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped jarred jalapeños {skip if you need it less spicy}

I baked it in a 9-inch cake pan and cooled it on a rack. I sliced the cornbread into eight wedges; then wrapped each one in recycled foil, and bagged for freezing.

I used one thawed piece of cornbread for two people. So if you need more, you do the math.

Cut the cornbread into cubes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some olive oil. Add the cubes of cornbread. Gently toss them from time to time as they sizzle and get golden. Remove with soft-tip tongs. Careful- don't be rough with these babies.

Serve hot sizzling croutons on top of the soup.

These would be super scrumptious in salads, too.

Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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Note:

I was not asked to do a review of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix- I bought the mix myself and tried it. I am not being compensated for this recipe idea/blog mention. Just so you know.

Karina

19 comments:

  1. I love Bob's Red Mill's GF cornbread mix. Just wish the GF all-purpose flour was better. I notice that many recipes call for rice flour and have used it. Most of my results are a bit sub-par though. Tried mixing myself with disastrous results. What brand of pre-mixed do you recommend? I noticed that King Arthur's has come out with some new GF mixes and since before I went GF I always used their flour perhaps their GF stuff will be great too.

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  2. This looks delecious and would be perfect for this cold rainy day here in NW Washington. I haven't tried the Bob's mix because my scratch cornbread is really easy to make and always a big hit with my family (even the non gf eaters). Now I'll have to try making croutons from it.

    Cindy
    http://www.wheatlessfoodie.blogspot.com

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  3. I agree, the way the slow cooker frees you up while dinner is cooking is just priceless. Sorry to hear about the hostile trees. Your soup sounds just delish!

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  4. Carrot soup is such light and yummy comfort food. I love that you quoted "French Kiss", that movie has so many great one-liners. :)

    Go Zombies!

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  5. Oh yum, totally have carrots in the fridge and cornbread in the freezer! I might throw in some parsnips too :)

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  6. Mmmm Yes! This might just be our menu tomorrow!

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  7. The soup itself is wonderful, but the cornbread croutons really push it over the top. I hope those trees take pity on you soon.

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  8. Thank God for gluten free cornbread - what a versatile quickbread! And I love your idea of "doctoring" up the BRM mix. You are a great teacher, just by example. Thank you Karina!

    ~Ellen
    www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

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  9. I'm using my slow cooker more and more as the weather warms up. And I'm also discovering that many soups I've always eaten hot are just as good, or good in a different way, when eaten cold. I'm thinking this might be one of those soups that tastes unexpectedly good when cold, especially with a bit of yogurt tossed in for those who can eat it.

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  10. Looks easy enough, I'm going to try this one.

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  11. This recipe looks so delicious!! I have been wanting to use curry but heard that it was an unsafe ingredient on a GF diet. I will check out the brand you use!

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  12. Looks wonderful!
    I feel for you with the allergies. You left the land of juniper and cottonwood but it's always something, isn't it?

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  13. Sounds lovely! I am a huge fan of my crockpot. Love easy dinners!

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  14. Hi Karina! I know I haven't posted in a while, but amazingly, I've far less free time since my daughter was born. Well, she's now 18 mos old and a horrible eater- but I can usually coax her into eating a pureed soup. I'd love to make this recipe, but we think she's allergic to sweet potatoes (long story- projectile vomitting involved- not pretty). Do you think parsnips would work as a sub or what else do you recommend? Hope you're doing well otherwise! Vidalia

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  15. Thanks, everyone- I'm glad you enjoy soup recipes as much as I do. xox

    Sherri- I usually develop recipes with my own preferred flour mix. That said, I loathe any mixes with bean flour or soy flour, and/or guar gum. Those mixes make me symptomatic (it's the legumes). I used to love using Pamela's Ultimate Baking Mix - it's a fab one-to-one substitute- if you can do buttermilk powder (I can't now; I went dairy-free three years ago). In general the flour mixes have too much rice flour and starch for my taste. When I make cornbread, my own recipe (with my preferred flours) is better than the mix, I think.

    Lydia- What a great idea! Chilled, with a dollop of yogurt would be fab.

    Christine- There are several brands of curry that are safe. In general, Simply Organic and McCormick work. Look out for wheat (read the label) in other brands and call to make sure. Thai Kitchen Curry Paste is another alternative.

    Vidalia- Hello there! I'm sorry to hear about the sweet potato allergy. You can sub more carrots- or use a gold potato. Parsnips will work but inn my opinion, will alter the balance a bit- if you choose parsnips, I use one parsnip and the rest carrots to make up for the sweet potato (I'm guessing 1 to 1.5 cups).

    xox
    Karina

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  16. I just finished sampling my finished project, and I love it - it's definitely making this cold of mine scared. ;) The chili powder in the cornbread is the perfect touch!

    I don't have an immersion blender, so I used a regular one instead. Took a bit longer but worked like a charm.

    Thanks so much for your recipes Karina.

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  17. Does anyone know how to make a good wheat and egg-free pizza crust? Thanks!!

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  18. Hey Karina just wanted to know that I have chosen you as my 'Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger' suggested by Iris over at http://www.thedailydietribe.com/

    I made this soup, and didn't have the chili powder for the cornbread but added a touch of cayenne instead. YUM!

    http://warmnwonderful.blogspot.com/2010/05/curried-carrot-soup-with-cornbread.html

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  19. Great recipe. I love the addition of cornbread croutons.

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