The Curried Carrot Coconut Bisque at the Woodloch Lodge & Spa is so delicious, I had to re-create it here. In addition to its vibrant color, velvety texture, and tantalizing taste, it is vegan and gluten-free!
This is a shout-out to Chef Brady for sharing the basics of this recipe during a fun, informative cooking demonstration. His version made 30-35 servings. Since we’re not feeding Woodloch, I whittled it down to a more manageable 6-8 servings with a few adjustments along the way.
Curried Carrot Coconut Bisque
The bisque’s foundation is the classic mirepoix (meer-pwah) combination of onion, carrots, and celery. The standard ratio is 2 parts onion to 1 part each carrots and celery. Here, carrots are the heavy favorite, with onion and celery tagging along. If the thought of peeling a bunch of carrots sounds daunting, then don’t. You really don’t need to when they’re cooked down and pureed. Most of carrots’ nutrients are in the outer layer and just beneath the skin, so leave them if you like. Give the carrots a good rinse, and you’re good to go.
To keep the recipe vegan, rice milk and coconut milk replace habitually-used cream. Cream adds richness but does little for flavor. Coconut milk, on the other hand, does its job incognito by lending a subtle sweetness to the caramelized carrots, and balancing the curry. Carrot juice brightens the bisque’s color and freshly grated ginger is the finishing touch.
In order to get that velvety smooth texture, the carrots need to be really tender, not mush, but tender. The mirepoix caramelizes first to bring out the vegetables’ sweetness and concentrate their flavor. Mashed roasted garlic and the curry powder get stirred in and become fragrant before adding the liquids.
Once the mixture has simmered 20-25 minutes and the carrots are nice and soft, break out the blender and get pureeing. Tip of the day here – when working with hot liquids, do not fill the blender more than halfway, and partially cover the hole in the lid with a dishtowel to allow steam to escape. After blending either get ladling, let cool and refrigerate for the next day, or cool and pour into freezer bags for a pleasant surprise at a future date.
But if you’re like us, you’ll be blowing on it until it’s cool enough taste. You can ladle the bisque into bowls as a main course or ‘soup course’, or in shooters if serving a crowd. No matter the serving size, have fun topping them off with leafy carrot greens, sliced green onions, finely chopped pistachios, and coconut cream. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (may use vegetable, canola or olive oil)
- 1 ½ lbs carrots, well-rinsed, peeled or unpeeled, sliced in ¼-inch coins (4-5 cups)
- 1 ½ cups onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4 roasted garlic cloves*, mashed
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 quart rice milk
- 1 13.5- ounce can coconut milk
- ½ cup carrot juice
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Garnish (optional): leafy carrot greens, sliced green onions, finely chopped pistachios, coconut cream
Heat coconut oil in a 5-quart, high-rimmed saucepan or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté stirring occasionally until vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder; cook 1 minute more, stirring frequently. Add the rice milk, coconut milk, and carrot juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat.
Working in batches, puree the bisque in a blender. Do not fill the blender more than halfway, and partially cover the hole in the lid with a dishtowel to allow steam to escape. Pour each batch of pureed bisque in another soup pot. Keep warm on medium-low heat. Once all the bisque is pureed stir in the honey and ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat when ready to serve.) Serve hot with suggested garnishes, as desired.
* To roast garlic cloves, separate from bulb and place unpeeled cloves in a small, shallow baking dish. Pour ¼ cup olive oil over cloves. Cover with foil. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 25 minutes. Peel when cool enough to handle, and mash with a fork. Save garlic-infused oil for future use.
** Bisque freezes well.
* Republished post with updated photos.