Beat the heat with this bright and refreshing vegan chilled soup that will transport you to the enchanting open-air pavilion of Herb Library in Ubud, Bali.
This past week brought some hot and humid days, a little reminder that the dog days of summer have arrived in Chicago. Naturally, I found myself wanting to be cooler and craving the creamy, chilled carrot and healing roots bisque I enjoyed when Wally and I dined at Herb Library in Ubud, Bali this past spring. Their menu is an extension of the Alaya Jembawan Resort’s wellness concept and features healthy and delicious options.
The bisque was silky smooth, light and delicious, like the brightness of the Balinese sun in a bowl. Ginger, galangal, garlic and earthy turmeric give the soup its complex layers, while carrots serve as the foundation. Carrots are high in beta-Carotene, which works inside our bodies as an antioxidant, while ginger, galangal and turmeric purge toxins and reduce inflammation. Plus, with a bit of prep, these nutritious ingredients cook up quickly, and when blitzed in a blender, give the soup a velvety texture.
This recipe was kindly provided by Herb Library’s executive sous chef, Wayan Adhe Suwetha. The soup is substantial enough on its own, but can be served with crostini and a mixed greens salad. I like to finish mine with a good dollop of plain yogurt or swirl of coconut milk to round out the flavors.
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 3½ tablespoons green onion, white part only
- 4 cups carrots (about 1½ lbs), peeled and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh galangal, minced
- pinch of grated kencur
- pinch or more of red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 cups water
Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add the whites of green onions, ginger, galangal and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes, until glossy.
Add carrots and spice mixture. The kencur is optional but adds another layer to this soup. I purchased mine online through Épices de Cru. Sauté 1 minute, stirring to coat carrots.
Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Purée soup in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
I recommend making it a day ahead — that way you get more depth of flavor and it’ll be properly chilled.
If the soup is too thick, thin with more water.
Ladle into bowls. Serve with crostini and salad.
- 12 day-old baguette slices, ¼ inch thick
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- chives, to taste
- garlic, to taste
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix in chives and garlic to melted butter. Brush both sides of bread with butter. (Try olive oil instead to keep this recipe vegan.) Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through baking. –Duke