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}

Instructions:

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.
xox Karina

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