Usually found in tropical gardens, ginger root - which is actually an underground stem, or rhizome - sprouts large pink and orange flowers that look as if they've been carved out of wax. Although they are a much more common sight in home gardens, carrots (a member of the parsley family) aren't given to such showy blooms. Nevertheless, carrots pack a nutritional punch as impressive as any ginger blossom. Put the two roots together and you've got one of the most delicious flavor combinations I know of. Buy smooth ginger pieces (wrinkled ones are old and dry) and peel the skin away. Ginger is a wonderful digestive aid that strengthens the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract, protecting against ulcers and parasites. The carotenes from carrots fortify the immune system and help maintain healthy skin and hair. When buying carrots, avoid those with cracks and be sure to remove carrot greenery, as it leaches moisture and vitamins from the roots.
2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
3 cups carrots, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
Salt to taste
Dash of dry sherry
Dash of nutmeg
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)
1. Heat the canola oil in a large pot, add the onion and ginger, and sauté, stirring, just until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the carrots, potato and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and boil gently until the vegetables are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
3. Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.
4. Add salt to taste and flavor with the sherry and nutmeg. Serve plain or garnished with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.
Food as Medicine: Ginger has been shown to significantly reduce both nausea and vomiting associated with "morning sickness" that some women experience during pregnancy.