A few weeks ago, I traveled to the left coast to help my daughter help her bridesmaids select their dresses for The Wedding of the Century. A dress was eventually selected that made all the 'maids look positively fabulous (sorry, faithful readers, you will have to wait until after The Big Event to see photos). Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, I was able to find one as well, one that didn't make my butt look big (can't show you this one, either, but if our paths ever converge, ask me about The Shoes).
Afterward, we all went to the pizzeria next store to celebrate. And that's when I found out that two of the girls had various food restrictions. One is gluten-intolerant, and the other has dairy issues. Luckily this is California, where no matter what your dietary restriction, you'll never starve. In addition to my normal plain cheese pizza, the pizzeria had gluten-free pizza on the menu. And upon questioning, we discovered that they make their meatballs without cheese! An hour later, we left with full and happy tummies.
Which got me to thinking ... maybe I should post recipes for restrictive diets that are also kosher-friendly. So today, here is the first of an irregular series of gluten-free recipes: Sweet & Spicy Carrot Bisque. The original recipe can be found at Vegetarian Times.
Now before you start making faces, there's no weird or freaky ingredients used. If you have ever tried a few of my recipes, you most likely have the ingredients in your pantry already. In fact, a number of past recipes are inherently gluten-free. I'll be revisiting the archives to add "gluten-free" where appropriate. Eventually.
Don't worry about the spicy part, there's only a quarter teaspoon of cayenne in the entire batch, so if you are the type who needs to chug a quart of water just thinking about black pepper, you won't have a problem here.
"Waiter! There's a banana in my soup!" Don't be put off by that either; banana is added to thicken the soup a bit and to add a little sweetness; its flavor lurks way in the background. Someone tasting this soup for the first time will say, "Hmmm, there's something there, just can't put my finger on it." This soup is served hot, though, so keep yer fingers out, please.
Sweet and Spicy Carrot Bisque
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
4 large carrots
1 medium yellow onion
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. plus one pinch kosher salt, divided
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbs. curry powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 1/4 cup water, divided
4 large carrots
1 ripe banana
1 13.5-oz. can light coconut milk, divided
2 1/2 Tbs. lime juice
Pita chips, to garnish (optional)
Peel and cut carrots into thin coin-shapes. Set aside. Dice up the onion.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add oil, wait 10 seconds then add onion (optionally with one tiny piece of carrot) and pinch of salt. Sauté 5 minutes, or until onion softens.
Stir in ginger, curry powder, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat onion with the spices.
Peel and cut up banana into chunks. Add it to saucepan along with carrots and 4 cups water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, or until carrots are fork-tender.
Meanwhile, heat 3/4 cup coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Set aside.
When carrots are tender, puree soup with an immersion blender.
Stir in remaining cup of coconut milk along with lime juice. Taste, then add up to 1 teaspoon of remaining salt.
Ladle soup in bowls. Spoon coconut milk reduction decoratively over each serving. Serve hot with crumbled up pita chips.