Recipe: Haven Cafe’s Sweet Carrot, Pear And Ginger Soup
If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. That’s why we’re delighted that chef/owner Shelly Williams will be sharing the recipes of some of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.
The secret to this soup is that not only does is consist of five simple, local ingredients but it’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly. I substituted the usual vegetable broth for carrot broth (both organic and flavorful), then added organic coconut milk. It ramps up the flavor and offers a beautiful base color on which to rest the garnishes. The ginger brings a magnificent smooth heat to the taste that pairs beautifully with the sweet mellow flavors of the pears and carrots. If you’re not concerned with the vegetarian or vegan aspect of the soup, you could even use it as a base for a quick Indian curry, paired with fish or chicken.
Sweet Carrot, Pear and Ginger Soup
6 medium organic carrots, washed and cut into ½” dice
2 tbs. rice or coconut oil
½ cup shallots, minced
2 tbs. fresh ginger, grated
3 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½” dice
14 oz. organic coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: ¼ cup apple cider
¼ cup pear, diced
1 tbs. cilantro, chopped
2 tbs. pine nuts, toasted
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1. Place carrots in large stockpot. Cover with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the carrots, reserving the liquid. Set both aside.
2. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add ginger and pears and continue cooking until pears are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved carrots and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
3. Puree the carrot mixture with an immersion blender or food processor. Return mixture to the pot and add carrot water to desired consistency.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Option to sweeten: add apple cider. Garnish and serve immediately.