Cranberry Carrot Soup-Gazpacho
This is by far the most visually pleasing soup I’ve cooked. After serving it in a white bowl, I realized how much it resembles the Amanita muscaria mushroom. As an entheogen, this mushroom’s psychoactive properties were discovered and used ubiquitously by older cultures for personal spiritual development and religious ceremonies. The mushroom has a symbiotic relationship with pine trees and mostly native to Northern Hemisphere. As suggested by some ethnobotanists, the notion of Santa Clause and the tradition of hanging stockings over the fireplace in winter are based completely on Amanita and pagan rituals surrounding it. Ever wonder where those gnomes, fairies, flying red and white mushrooms in children’s books and Disney cartoons come from? Some sure sound like a hallucinogenic trip, don’t they?
There are numerous fascinating theories about the connection between these mushrooms and modern religions, but I’ll leave them up to you to explore.
Based on what I just said, the soup is probably better suited for winter, but considering Montana’s schizophrenic warm-again-cold-again spring weather, I may not be too off-season today.
You can make the soup as low-caloric as you wish, but the flavors may seem somewhat disjointed in a lower fat versions. Fat, in the milk or in the form of butter, will bind together the sweet, sour and slightly spicy flavors.
The following day the weather got warm, and I had the soup cold.
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
- 2 lb carrots, peeled and grated
- 12 oz (~3.5 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar OR other sweetner
- 2 Tbs fresh ginger, finely grated (see headnote)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup buttermilk/milk
- butter (if warm)
- lemon juice (if cold)
- slivered almonds
Time~ Prep: 15 min Cook: 30 min
- In a large saucepan over med. heat simmer carrots with the cranberries and water ’till very tender (~20 min).
- Strain the mixture, reserving the liquid and 1/2 cup cranberries. Puree the rest in a food processor. Return everything back to the saucepan.
- Add sugar, ginger and black pepper to taste (recommendation is listed). Cook a bit longer (~5 min).
- Allow to cool slightly before adding buttermilk or milk. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Reheat to serve, add a bit of butter, if desired.
- OR chill in the fridge before serving.
Serve warm during cold season.
Serve cold with a bit of lemon juice and slivered almonds for a nice refreshing gazpacho during warmer seasons.