This carrot and ginger soup will warm you up! What’s your winter been like? We’ve had snow several times this year, which makes it the coldest winter York has seen in a while. We haven’t had snow laying for a significant time since 2010 – the year I started this blog!
It feels weird to think that it’s still winter though. The snowdrops are flowering here, and the crocuses are starting to flower. It’s light when I get home from work now, and only just over a month until Easter.
So this carrot and ginger soup is the perfect ‘promise of spring’ dish. It’s warming and hearty, but with a certain freshness from the vegetables. I’ve taken inspiration from Chinese dishes with the seasoning, as ginger forms such a strong part of many Chinese recipes. For example, the preserved black beans I used to make this chicken dish are preserved with chunks of ginger. Make no mistake, though, this isn’t an authentic Chinese dish.
I’ve tried this carrot and ginger soup with grated fresh ginger, and with dried ginger. There may be a slight flavour benefit if you use fresh, but really, don’t stress. Use whatever is easiest. Do bear in mind, though, that slicing and freezing fresh ginger can work really well. Just defrost it in a little warm water.
You can either serve the soup with the toppings as pictured, or put the sesame oil and spring onions (scallions) out for everyone to help themselves. This meal would serve four as an elegant starter or light lunch. Alternatively, it makes a more substantial dinner for two.
If you forget to press your tofu to get the excess liquid out, or it’s still fairly wet when you’re trying to fry it, just stick the pan under the grill (broiler). It may be less authentic but it colours it up nicely.
I've given this warming winter soup an oriental twist. Perfect as a light lunch or weeknight supper.
- 1 396g/14oz package of tofu
- 1 kg carrots
- 2 tsp ground ginger Or use 1-2cm of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 litre vegetable stock/bouillon 1.75 pints
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch spring onions/scallions
- sesame oil to drizzle
Drain the block of tofu and place it in a bowl. Put a small plate on top, and place a couple of cans of food or another suitable weight on top. This will press any excess liquid out.
Chop the spring onions/scallions and set aside. Peel and slice the carrots. Place the slices in a pan with the ginger, soy sauce and stock.
Add an additional 500ml (17 floz) of freshly boiled water and bring the pan to the boil.
Boil until the carrots are tender - this took about 15 minutes from when I turned the heat on for me. They don't need to be falling apart.
While the carrots are boiling, drain and chop the tofu. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet. Place the tofu squares in the pan and cook for 5 minutes or so. Turn, and cook for another 5 minutes.
When the carrots are tender blend the soup in a blender or food processor. Return it to the heat and warm through.
Serve with tofu and spring onions/scallions arranged on top, and a dash of sesame oil swirled on.