Thursday, March 28, 2013

Purple Carrot, Apple, and Beet Soup

Marriage equality has been a hot issue these past couple of days, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments regarding California's Prop. 8 banning same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Marriage equality is an issue near and dear to my heart - because equality is an issue near and dear to my heart. I have always been supportive of LGBTQ rights, but the issue rose prominently to the forefront of my mind a little over a year ago when someone very close to me came out. Someone who is courageous, intelligent, determined, compassionate, and inspiring. Someone who hoped that her own story would help bullied gay teens realized that it gets better. Someone who is truly one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out, even if she may not realize it.

Soon after, I came across this blog post - a moving account of one blogger's coming out story and a written contribution to the It Gets Better Project. The recipe attached to the post - Purple Carrot and Apple Soup - was meant as a tribute to the LGBTQ community, as lavender is a color often associated with gay pride. I was immediately inspired to make this soup.

Locating purple carrots turned out to be more difficult than one would think, however. It wasn't until recently that I found purple carrots at my local Whole Foods, and so I was finally able to try this recipe in all its deeply lavendered glory, as my way of showing support, and my own little tribute to this dear person in my life.

Although I dutifully followed the recipe, my purple carrot and apple soup turned out to be...a burnt orange color! (Purple carrots are only purple on the outside, it turns out.) And burnt orange was not quite the shade I was going for! As something of a quick fix, I decided to add some beets. I knew the result would be more red than lavender, but I didn't want to use food coloring or dark colored foods (like blueberries or blackberries) simply to "lavenderize" the soup for fear that the flavors wouldn't mesh well. And so, I left it at that, content that red was at least closer to lavender than burnt orange. And for what it's worth, the end result was delicious.

Purple Carrot, Apple, and Beet Soup
Purple Carrot, Apple, and Beet Soup
(Yes, Oxford commas are important to me as well)

I include the recipe below, which is really the original recipe with the addition of beets as well as chopped peanuts (just to shake it up a bit). As the recipe author noted, "It’s a dish that as you cook and eat it, all seems right with the world."

And with that I toast: To equality!

  • 5 medium purple carrots, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 1 inch circles
  • 2 medium sweet apples (such as Gala apples), peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 medium beets, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 24 ounces vegetable stock (have more on hand to thin out soup, if needed)
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Greek yogurt, optional
  • Coarse sea salt, optional
  • Chopped peanuts, optional


Heat olive oil in a medium pot and set to medium heat. Add the purple carrots, apples, honey, and ginger to the pot and toss to combine. Add beets and vegetable stock and simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Once the beets, carrots, and apples are tender, take off of heat and let cool.

Using an immersion blender (or you can do it in batches in a regular blender), puree the soup until it is smooth. Add more vegetable stock if it is too thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Let the soup simmer for another 15 minutes before serving. Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped peanuts.

Original recipe courtesy of:
A Thought for Food (get the original recipe here)