I need to get myself some cast iron cookware so I can start tasting these open fire recipes. Don't worry, this carrot curry soup has been taste-tested and it's melt-your-face-off spicy! I know because I accidentally tasted it...with my eye. Ouch! You can easily adjust the spice to your preference though. And you don't have to sustain any eye injuries either.
To be clear, this is more of my mom's recipe instead of mine. You might remember when she and I made the open fire veggie curry last year using her open fire cooking setup and her cookware. To get anyone new caught up, since I'm gluten intolerant and very sensitive to cross contamination of gluten, I can't use other people's cookware if it potentially contains traces of gluten. That's why I wasn't able to taste-test this recipe. My mom came up with the basic recipe and I provided input and did the seasonings while she taste-tested.
I have to applaud her for trying the dried chilies too. I asked that she try them to see how spicy they are so I know how many to add. Here's her feedback - "Oh... I'm too scared...can't I just Google it?!" And feedback from attempt #2 "Ok, it's not that bad".
So spice level will depend on a few things:
- Dried chilies - spiciness can be adjusted by changing the number of chilies you use, removing or retaining the seeds, and removing or retaining the chilies before blending the soup.
- Curry powder - the brand of curry powder you use may be more or less spicy. We used Penzeys the now curry.
- Cayenne - adjust the amount or omit completely.
If you're new to open fire cooking, I've previously written about two different open fire setups as well as equipment I recommend. Additionally, for this recipe, you'll need a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven as opposed to the large rectangular one I mentioned in the other post. You'll also want an immersion blender which means you'll need access to electricity unless you have a cordless one. I was looking for one online and found this cordless immersion blender. It comes with a bunch of bells and whistles but probably a good option if you're camping instead of doing this in your backyard like we did. Does anyone recommend a more basic, cheaper option that I could link to? I'm thinking the rechargeable variety must be harder to find for safety reasons - you wouldn't want electricity running to it while disassembling or cleaning it! Nobody wants their fingers cut off. Nobody.
Why are outdoor photos so hard? And even harder midday without a cloud in the sky? Or shade? If I were home, photographing indoors, I'd just prop a diffuser up in front of the window but I wasn't planning on getting anything too fancy while we were outside. Just a few process photos but they were so overexposed that I couldn't use them. I ended up holding an umbrella up over my food with my left hand and my camera with my right hand to try to diffuse the sunlight a bit while I got photos of the finished product outside. Good enough, I guess!
Spicy carrot curry soup cooked outdoors over an open fire. This soup is vegan, gluten free, and paleo.
- 1-2 dried red chilies, depending on your spice preference. Remove seeds if you'd like it on the milder side.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs orange carrots, diced very small (smaller pieces will cook faster)
- 2 Tbsp curry powder (we used Penzeys the now curry)
- 1 tsp coriander
- ½ tsp cayenne, optional
- ⅓ C water
- 8 C (two 32 oz cartons) of vegetable broth
- 1 can full fat coconut milk plus an additional can for serving.
- Heat a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven over an open fire.
- Once the pot is heated, add the chilies and allow to toast for a bit on each side.
- As soon as the chilies are lightly toasted, add the olive oil, carrots, then spices (curry powder, coriander, and cayenne if you like it extra spicy) and stir to coat.
- Pour in the water and cover with the lid which allows the carrots to steam. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are fork-tender.
- After the carrots are softened, the chilies will be re-hydrated. You can either remove these now or keep them in the pot to blend up and increase the spice level.
- Remove from heat and add vegetable broth and one can of coconut milk. Use an immersion blender (cordless if you don't have access to electricity where you're cooking) to combine until very smooth. I recommend protecting your clothes and eyes because splatters will stain badly and burn your eyes. I know from experience.
- The soup may be cooler now from adding the extra liquids and blending so return to the heat (uncovered is fine) and stir occasionally until the soup is warmed enough to serve.
- Serve with optional coconut milk to stir in and garnish with carrot tops, if desired.
To adjust the spice level, there are several things you can do. With the dried chilies, you can adjust the number of chilies you use or omit completely, remove or retain the seeds, and remove or retain the chilies before blending the soup. The brand of curry powder you use may be more or less spicy. We used Penzeys the now curry. Additionally, you can adjust the amount of cayenne or omit it completely.