Sunday, March 28, 2010

Carrot-Ginger Soup with Coconut Shrimp

Of the three traditional food magazines, Food & Wine was always my least favorite.  Then Gourmet was canceled last year, and I found myself turning to Food & Wine more.  This is one of the few recipes that we have actually made from Food & Wine.  Generally I turn to it for inspiration, but don't bother making the recipes.  I'm not really sure why that is, but I do tend to find the recipes from Food & Wine to be more complicated than those from Bon Appetit and Gourmet.  Granted, that's something of a gross generalization, but beyond that I'm not sure why I don't subscribe to Food & Wine like I did to Gourmet, or make more recipes from it.  Then again, I somehow ended up with a subscription to Everyday by Rachael Ray and even though I had all of the issues, I can't remember making a single recipe.  Nothing against the magazine, I just rarely found things that excited me enough to break out my knives and get cooking.

This recipe from Food & Wine is delightful.  Prior to making the soup tonight, we had made the coconut shrimp a few times.  If you're just making the coconut shrimp, I recommend adding some lime zest to the grated coconut and serving it with sweet chili dipping sauce.  It's delicious.  The original recipe doesn't specify whether to use sweetened or unsweetened grated coconut, but I like to mix the two.  If you use all sweetened coconut and serve it with the sweet chili dipping sauce it gets a little cloyingly sweet.  But if you mix the two coconuts it's perfect.  The shrimp are also delicious when served with this soup.  The soup is a little sweet from the carrots and the onions, with definite peanut butter undertones.  The addition of the milk and the coconut milk make the soup velvety smooth and creamy.  Both the soup and the coconut shrimp have a little heat to them from the crushed red pepper flakes and the cayenne pepper respectively.  I know that Alex and I like spicy more than some, but the hit of mild and creeping heat makes the soup for me.

Recipe after the jump!

Carrot-Ginger Soup with Coconut Shrimp
Adapted from Food & Wine
May 2005

2 tbsp evoo
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 large carrots (3/4 pound), chopped
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1tsp crushed red pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup light coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
16 extra-large shrimp, shelled
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used a 50/50 mixture of sweetened and unsweetened)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  In a large Le Creuset or other heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp evoo over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the carrots, ginger and crushed red pepper, stir to combine, and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, peanut butter and sesame oil.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Return it to low heat and stir in the skim milk and coconut milk.  Season the soup with s&p to taste.
Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the coconut, cayenne and remaining 1 tbsp evoo, and season with s&p.  Spread the shrimp on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, or until pink and opaque.  Ladle the carrot-ginger soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the coconut shrimp.

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