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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Two Summer Soups: Curried Carrot And Broccoli Tofu

Today, two summer soups using carrots and broccoli. And, a story from Harvest Public Media about the new nutrition icon from the USDA, MyPlate.

Broccoli and Basil Soup with Soy

[photo 1]

MyPlate: A Discussion

The U.S. Department of Agriculture welcomed summer with “MyPlate.” It’s meant to be the new face of health eating and takes the place of the ubiquitous Food Pyramid. It is also another installment in the push to deal with common health ailments like climbing obesity among American youth.

The visual is four sections on a plate comprised of vegetables and grains, with fruits and proteins representing the smallest portions and a glass of milk on the side. The USDA’s message is boiled down to: don’t eat too much and vary your meal choices.

[photo 3]

More Broccoli, Less Beef

Jessica Naudziunas of Harvest Public Media found out that some members of the food industry wanted a bigger portion on of the plate.

“Obviously we think beef should be included in every meal,” says Christina Butts National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. But that’s too bad, because MyPlate and previous food guidelines recommend that Americans eat less meat. If the beef industry had their way, “The protein/meat section would say beef, but it would be a larger portion of the MyPlate icon,” she says.

For the fruit and veggie people, a half plate of their products looks pretty good. According to dietician Lorelei DiSogra of the fruit and vegetable trade group United Fresh, “It’s a win-win for the industry. It’s a win-win for public health.”

“No one graphic can indicate every nuance of healthy eating,” says Dr. Margo Wootan, the Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center For Science and the Public Interest. “But on the whole, it’s good science-based advice that if people follow, they will be healthier.”

More: Read more about food, fuel, and the field from the folks at Harvest Public Media.

Hot Soup To Cool You Off?

It may seem counter-intuitive to be cooking soups in the summertime, but hot soups can actually cool you down in hot temperatures.

“In the Caribbean where I worked for a couple years,” Chef Daniel Orr says, “they liked hot soup. So, they would have their pumpkin soup in the middle of summer with scotch bonnets, you know things that make you sweat a little bit.”

Serving these two soups cold would also be refreshing during the hot summer days.

Curried Carrot And Fennel Soup With Turmeric and Orange

Our first recipe is a bright orange carrot soup.

“If you want to make this vegan,” Chef Orr says, “you could add agave nectar instead of honey, which is made from the same plant you make tequila out of.” Instead of the optional heavy cream, you could add coconut milk.

This soup is great hot or cold and garnished with anything from crab or shrimp to Mexican cream and orange segments.

[photo 1]

Curried Carrot And Fennel Soup With Turmeric and Orange

Serving Size: Makes 8 servings


  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 medium carrots, topped, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 orange, juiced, plus 2 teaspoons zest
  • 4 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 quart water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cream or coconut milk (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pot, place onions, fennel, garlic, and spices and saute in olive oil for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until carrots are soft.
  3. Puree in blender until smooth. Pass through fine strainer.
  4. Add heavy cream to soup and return to a boil. Season to taste, then chill the soup in an ice bath.

Broccoli And Basil Soup With Soy

What we’re going to make next is a broccoli soup with basil and soy. In this case, the soy is going to be tofu, so it’ll have a creamy, unctuous texture and flavor but without adding heavy cream.

This recipe incorporates the water used to cooked the broccoli. ”You’re building up vitamins into that water,” Chef Orr says. ”You can also save that cooking water and have it as a vegetable stock.”

Or, how about watering your plants with the cooking water? (But only as long as no salt was added!)

[photo 2]

Broccoli And Basil Soup With Soy


  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 15 basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 1/2 pound soft silken tofu
  • cooking water from broccoli
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Cut the broccoli stems in thin rounds and cut the tops into fleurettes.
  2. Cover with just enough boiling water to cook and simmer until tender but not discolored.
  3. Place broccoli in the basin of a blender and add remaining ingredients.
  4. Blend until smooth and thin with cooking water as needed.
  5. Garnish with nasturtiums. Adjust seasoning and serve.

News Stories In This Podcast:

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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