Food for Thought: Save your eyes, boost your immune system, eat some carrots

Carrots. I can’t say I personally eat too many of them. They bring back traumatic childhood memories of being force-fed beef stew with boiled carrots when all I wanted was some mac and cheese. They also feel so retro to me. Does anyone ever really have a meal with a side of boiled carrots anymore? It seems awfully ’80s! But the fact of the matter is, carrots are incredibly nutritious and we should all be eating more of them.

Carrots. I can’t say I personally eat too many of them. They bring back traumatic childhood memories of being force-fed beef stew with boiled carrots when all I wanted was some mac and cheese. They also feel so retro to me. Does anyone ever really have a meal with a side of boiled carrots anymore? It seems awfully ’80s!
But the fact of the matter is, carrots are incredibly nutritious and we should all be eating more of them. No other vegetable contains as much beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A for a strong immune system and healthy skin and hair.
I myself am not one to eat something I’m not a fan of expressly to reap its nutritional benefits. In fact, I decided to share my carrot soup recipe way before I knew anything about the advantages of this beta-carotenous root vegetable (I made that word up), so you can be sure that this concoction is yummy first, healthy second.

Carrot Ginger Potage

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 large onion, diced
4 cups diced carrots
1-2 diced potato
2 cups broth (vegetable, chicken, or plain old water)
2 cups milk
2 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
dash nutmeg
dash cinnamon
Fresh coriander
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1- In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat (medium-low if using cast iron)
2- Add the onions and let them sweat. I let them brown to add a richer, slightly caramelized flavor. This may take up to 10-15 minutes, so I peel the carrots only after I’ve started the onions; stirring after every second one I peel.
3- Add the diced carrots, potato, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4- Fill with enough broth to cover, about two cups.
5- Increase heat and bring to a boil.
6- Let simmer until carrots are soft, at least 20 minutes. Time will vary depending on the size of the carrots chunks.
7- Transfer the mix to a food processor or blender.
8- Add two cups of milk or more until the soups reaches a consistency you like. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a potato masher, or a potato ricer. I’d suggest you ask for a food processor for Christmas, or keep your eyes peeled at the Salvation Army, at garage sales or on craigslist. It is the ultimate kitchen tool, in my opinion!
9- Garnish with fresh coriander and toasted baguette.

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