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Spicy Ginger and Carrot Soup

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GATHER
1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, ends trimmed and diced
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
4 ½ cups chicken stock
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons seasoned rice-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ cup milk
Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, toasted sesame seeds

COOK
In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, garlic, ginger, and carrots and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add stock, red pepper flakes, coriander, turmeric, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, peanut butter, brown sugar, sesame oil, coconut milk, and milk and bring to a simmer. Cover and lightly simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse several times. This may need to be done in batches. Puree until smooth. Season to taste.

Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve, bring soup to low boil. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. This soup can be served chilled as well.

Recipe courtesy Chef Ken Rochioli from KR Catering, Healdsburg, CA