Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

Are you feeling the post-holiday blues? It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after a couple weeks of indulging, relaxing and partying. However, January is the month of New Year’s resolutions and Divya from Flavour Fiesta and I are committed to sharing with you the best beauty eats recipes to help you stick to your 2012 goals for eating healthy! Today’s roasted cauliflower and carrot soup would make for a hearty lunch item that warms the soul while smoothing out complexions…

January can be a rather dull month since the holiday festivities are over and it’s the dead of winter. The best way to brighten things up on a cold, dreary day is with some colourful comfort food. Personally, I love the thought of warming up with some vegetable soup on a weeknight since it doesn’t require much work and you’ll get a few servings of veggies too. We all know how hard that is! This bright orange soup is made with roasted carrots and cauliflower, but since plain vegetable soup can get a little boring sometimes, I took some inspiration from the East. The soup also includes fresh ginger and coconut milk! How’s that for some fusion food?

Whenever I make soup, I usually just boil the vegetables in the pot and blend them once they have softened. I never really thought of roasting them beforehand, until I came across a recipe in magazine that was made with slow roasted vegetables. It looked divine! But who has the time to wait hours for something to roast? I certainly don’t have the patience! So for this recipe, I roasted the carrots and cauliflower in under an hour. Roasting really does add a nice flavour since the vegetables get a chance to slightly caramelize. That hint of sweetness makes the soup taste even better. Try it out sometime!

serves 2-3

1.5 cup cauliflower florets
6 medium carrots, peeled
1 red onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
extra-virgin olive oil
coriander or parsley for garnish

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the meanwhile, chop the cauliflower and carrots into bite sized pieces.
Step 2: Toss the carrots, cauliflower, onion and garlic into a small roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and mix well. Roast for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Stir the contents of the roasting pan after 20 minutes and then continue to roast for another 25 minutes.
Step 4: After the vegetables have roasted, bring 3 cups of broth to a boil in a pot. Add salt, pepper and ginger and mix well. Toss the vegetables into the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes (covered) until the vegetables have completely softened. Blend well with an electric blender and add the coconut milk and lime juice. Stir and serve with a garnish of coriander or parsley.

Can your soup really fight wrinkles, inflammation and harmful toxins? Yes, it’s possible – and here’s why:

Carrots: 1 cup of raw carrots contains approximately 685% of the recommended daily value for vitamin A, the vitamin that helps combat wrinkles (read: retinol is a form of vitamin A). Carrots are also rich in carotenoids, which protects the skin from harmful free radicals.
Cauliflower: In need of some detox after all the holiday indulgences? Well, consider cauliflower your new BFF. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, most of the B vitamins and phytonutrients that stimulate enzymes which facilitate the detoxification process in your body. Expect to also see a reduction in skin puffiness and inflammation.
Ginger: Because ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols that are also excellent antioxidants, ginger is a great beauty food for those who have skin problems caused by inflammation, namely acne and psoriasis.
Red Onion: Don’t discount onions as just a flavor enhancer in your recipes! Onions contain vitamin C, quercetin and isothiocyanates, which help calm inflammation. These antioxidants also protect against the degradation of collagen – the support structure in your skin. If you have acne, onions also contain chromium that will help your fight off those pesky zits!
Garlic: Garllic contains compounds that keep inflammation at bay. One ounce of garlic contains about 15% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, which is responsible for stimulating collagen production and boosting the effectiveness of other antioxidants!
Coconut Milk (light): Coconut milk boasts a slew of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that can help boost your immunity and thus your skin’s defense mechanisms against environmental toxins. Although coconut milk contains saturated fat (which is also why we opt for the light version), it is made up of short-chain and long-chain fatty acids that tend to be quickly converted by the body into energy rather than being stored as fat.

Let us know how it goes – leave a comment!


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