Carrot bisque with banana and garam masala

Who knew you could put banana in a soup?  I sure didn’t.

This sweet and spicy carrot soup is sweetened with banana. A friend told me about this recipe and I just had to try it.   And I’m so glad I did.   The leftovers got me through a couple of late nights this past week and saved me from take out and  the instant feelings of regret which invariably would have followed.   This soup feels good, it’s smooth, sweet and satisfying. The only change I made to the original recipe was I used a Garam Masala curry powder that I buy from the Bulk Food Store.  It’s mild and sweeter than traditional curry powder mixes and my kids seem to prefer it.

Sweet Carrot Bisque

adapted from vegetarian times
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 pinch salt
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. garam masala powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds (4 cups)
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 13.5-oz. can light coconut milk, divided
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. lime juice

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and pinch of salt, and sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in ginger, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add garam masala powder, cayenne, and 1/4 cup water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat onion and ginger with spices.  Add carrots, banana, 1 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, or until carrots are soft enough to be pierced with fork.  Purée soup in batches in blender or food processor. Return soup to pot, and stir in 1 cup coconut milk and lime juice. Meanwhile, as in start as  when you start the onions for the soup, begin simmering the remaining 3/4 cup coconut milk in small saucepan over medium-high heat 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.  Just a warning, this takes longer than you might think.  And you want a nice thick coconut milk reduction. Ladle soup in bowls, and swirl 11/2 Tbs. coconut milk reduction into each serving.

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