Several years ago, I worked in Downtown Boston for a large corporation. Every so often, I bought lunch from the small cafe in the main lobby. The food was cheap, fast, and fairly delicious. The best thing on the menu was an item that came only once in a while: carrot soup. It had the best mixture of tart, spicy, earthy flavors that warmed me to my core on freezing Northeast winter days. I’ve been attempting to replicate it at home, and I think I finally managed it! And the best part is, it is anti-inflammatory diet friendly!
There are two secrets to this soup; the first being perfecting that tart, warm “something” that has been so difficult to capture. This is a mixture of fresh apples, scallions, spices, and plenty of simmering. Rather than putting everything in a pot of water, which dilutes the flavor, this is added to the base (carrots) in a food processor near the end.
The second secret ingredient is flax seed. This is the perfect way to add an earthy, nutty flavor, while packing a big nutritional punch. Flax seed is said to have the same nutritional benefits as a whole grain, but without the starches and sugars of wheat or rice. It is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in suppressing inflammation. Flax seed may also play a part in uterine health. I did also add some brown sugar, which I have not found to be an issue in my endometriosis inflammation; however, for a true anti-inflammatory diet, you would not add this ingredient, but use honey instead.
Something I learned while making this recipe is I am definitely going to keep coconut oil and related products to a minimum. I used coconut cream in my recipe because my husband bought a can last week, and I figured I’d try it out. I am going to recommend you do not. Although I’ve been reading all these great things about coconut oil, I did my research tonight and found that coconut oil and coconut cream are inflammatory foods. They are far healthier than say, cream or olive oil, and added a great texture to my recipe, but next time, I think I’ll leave it out.
Carrot and Honey Crisp Apple Soup
1 lb carrots – chopped
2 large honey crisp apples – peeled and chopped
2 large scallions – chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch of garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
2 tbsp brown sugar, or 1/3 cup honey
1 cup rice milk
sprig of fresh cilantro
Boil carrots in a large pot until tender. In a non-stick frying pan, saute scallions over medium heat, then add apples, ginger, and garlic salt. Continue to saute until apples are tender. Reduce heat to low, add cinnamon sticks, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and is fragrant. When carrots are tender, drain and place in your food processor. Pulse for about a minute. Add apple mixture and process about 2 minutes, or until creamy. Remove to large pot. Pulse flax seeds and brown sugar, then add rice milk and 1 cup of soup base, and process for about 20 seconds. Add back to the large pot and stir until incorporated. Serve with drizzle of rice milk and sprinkling of cilantro.