Our dear friend Megan came to visit us a few weeks ago from Los Angeles. Megan is also affectionately called "Min"-- as in Minister, as in Universal Life Church, as in they ordain online! She presided over our wedding ceremony at Wave Hill a few years ago. (And so that my mother doesn't read this post and have a kanipshin, you should note that we also had a separate religious ceremony, one officiated by a rabbi.)
We had a wonderful time talking, walking, drinking, and dining. We strolled around the Washington Park neighborhood and had some great ice cream at Bonnie Brae, an old-fashioned, classic ice cream parlor not far from the park. We also scoped out some homes in Congress Park, which admittedly is a bit premature since we don't know if we will stay in Denver long-term, but a girl can dream, right?!
We ate at Shish Kabob on Capital Hill and my falafel sandwich was lip-smacking good. Plans to visit the Clyfford Still Museum were foiled when we found out the museum is closed on Mondays, but I'll take Min on her next visit.
On Megan's final night, my husband watched the boys and Megan and I had ladies night. Our venue? Root Down-- a fantastic neighborhood eatery with great design and even more amazing food...seasonal and delicious. I ordered the Carrot Soup with Thai Red Curry and Apple-Pear Chutney as a starter-- it was wonderful. My entree was a delicious Butternut-Ricotta Gnocchi (with mushrooms, spinach, black currants, shallots, chile flake, brown butter, sage-hazelnut pesto & pecorino). For dessert we split a Mexican Chocolate Mousse that was to-die-for. Back to the soup. Like I said, it was delicious. I haven't been able to get it out of my head and I wanted to recreate it.
After a bit of research, I found a Red Curry Carrot Soup recipe from an old Food & Wine magazine. While it wasn't exactly the same as the Root Down version, my craving was sated. I simplified the dish a bit, but you can see the original recipe here. Serve with a little drizzle of canola oil, some matchstick scallions and a pinch of finely chopped basil. Yum.
Red Curry Carrot Soup (Adapted from Grace Parisi, Food & Wine Magazine, June 1999)
Serves 2 - 4
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 large carrots, or 8 medium-sized carrots, peeled
2 slices peeled fresh ginger, about 1/4 inch slices
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 scallion, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced carrots and ginger and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the carrots are crisp-tender and lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, water, coconut milk and curry paste to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Or, puree the soup in batches using a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the scallion, cilantro and basil and serve.