Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

Like most people, I am trying to lose weight this year.  I put on a couple over the holidays (who doesn't right?), and I still want to shed 10-12 pounds from my last pregnancy.  I lost 10 pounds last fall, but fell off the wagon a little after my husband started to work late in the evenings and I wasn't able to get out and exercise.  

So now, I'm back on track.  I'm walking 1.5 miles 3 times a week (hoping to increase that gradually), and lifting weights to get rid of those "bat wings" under my arms.  I really want to lose these last few pounds...not because I have to, but because I know I should, and in the long run, I'll be healthier for it.   

So, I'm trying to make healthy meals for a while.  I'm actually doing double duty.  My hubby is trying to lose weight too.  His father had a major heart attack last month, and I think it was a bit of a wake-up call for him.  So I'm cooking 2 meals every few days...one for us to eat at home, and one for David to take to work for lunch.  He really likes hot meals (no cold sandwiches!), and I'm hoping I can send him with tasty leftovers as much as possible. 

The funny thing is, David doesn't like this soup.  He hates anything that tastes even remotely like winter squash, and he said this soup tastes like squash to him.  I think it tastes likes carrots.  (I made pork roast and turkey sausage for him instead).  But you'll have to be the judge.  It's easy to make, only takes a few ingredients, and you can have 2 bowls of it without feeling one bit guilty!  

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 small (or 1 medium) apple, chopped
5 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions and carrots for about 5 minutes.  

 Add the garlic and ginger and let it go for another 5 minutes.  

Now toss in the apples and cook for another 5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Pour in the vegetable/chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, and let the soup gently bubble for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.  
Puree the soup in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pot.  Still don't have one?  I told you to ask for one for Christmas! ;-)  (The soup will be smoother if you use a blender, and a bit chunkier if you use the immersion blender).
Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Add a pinch or two of nutmeg (freshly ground is divine, but ground nutmeg is just fine!).  I also added about 1/4 cup of cream (it was in the fridge and needed to be used up.  By all means you can leave it out).  
Serve garnished with a sprig of parsley.  This freezes beautifully for 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.  
I've been eating this soup every day for almost a week now, and haven't gotten tired of it yet.  Theresa has had some as well...and she loves it!  Every time I heat up a bowl, she crawls into the kitchen and won't stop fussing until I give her some.  Silly baby girl. :-)
I hope this is a recipe you can use to kick-start your weight loss goals for the new year. 
God bless your table tonight!