If youâ€™re a new cook and want to feel good about your skills, make soup. If you want to impress people into thinking youâ€™re a way better cook than you are, make pureed soupâ€”and garnish it with something. Garnish is super fancy.
Titles like â€œcream of tomatoâ€ and â€œlobster bisqueâ€ used to make me melt into submission. I had to have it and loved every bite. Then I learned to cook. The terrible part about learning to cook is that the mystery curtain is liftedâ€”like when you find out that the Wizard of Oz is just a little old man behind the curtain. You can no longer pretend you donâ€™t know that lobster bisque is made with heavy cream and is therefore horribly detrimental to your mental calorie bank. If youâ€™re making meal decisions according to your health and waistline, broth-based soup is usually the way to go.
But then thereâ€™sÂ thisÂ soup. This soup seems indulgent but itâ€™s simple to make andÂ extremelyÂ diet friendly. By adding shrimp on top youâ€™re creating a very low calorie, high protein, high nutrient dinner. Shrimp is pretty much the most perfect protein you can find; itâ€™s crazy lean and high in both vitamin B and zinc.Â Generally speaking, fresh-frozen shrimp is the way to go, as itâ€™s almost always the economical buy.
To make the soup â€œcreamy,â€ you simply puree it with a stick blender, food processor or regular blender. A stick (or wand) blender is great fun as you plug it in the wall, stick it in your pot and voila, pureed soup. A regular blender works just as well, though it can get messy in the transfer. All in all this should take you well under an hour to make; doable for a week night but even better for impressing weekend guests!
Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup with Shrimp
Serves six to eight
About 28 frozen large, cooked shrimp, thawed
Â¼ c.Â extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tbsp. chopped or grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Idaho or russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
Â¼ tsp. dried thyme
Â¼ tsp. black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 c. chicken broth
Â¼ c. nonfat or low fat plain Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh parsley, to serve
1. Dry thawed shrimp and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil; set aside.
2. Heat remaining olive oil in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and Â½ tsp. salt and cook, stirring, about ten minutes or until starting to turn golden.
3. Add ginger, garlic, potato, carrots, thyme, black pepper, cayenne and the remaining Â½ tsp. salt and stir to coat.
4. Add chicken broth and increase the heat to high. Place the lid on the pot and bring it to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes.
6. Add yogurt to soup pot. Using an immersion blender, a regular blender, or a food processor, puree soup.
7. Serve, topped with shrimp and parsley.
Per serving: 153 calories, 7.7 grams fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 16 grams carbs, 2.9 grams dietary fiber, 6.8 grams protein.
No “how to” pictures with this soup, but it’s so easy that I don’t think you’ll have any problem. I write a post twice a month for the Be Well Philly blog (part of Philadelphia Magazine), and this soup was written for that blog. I really liked the soup, however, and wanted the recipe on my blog, too. To see the original post on Be Well Philly, click below. I copy and pasted it from that blog so the content won’t be new, but you should look around the site because there is some great stuff! Also, I hate the word “blog”. It sounds like bog, or blob, both of which conjure bad images.