Curried Carrot and Apple Peanut Soup (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)(courtesy of wellplated.com)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-2 large (Imperfect) onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
5 large (Imperfect) carrots, peeled and chopped
3 medium soft-cooking (Imperfect) apples, such as peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Chopped peanuts, for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, then sauté until the onion is softened and translucent but not brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaf. Add the carrots and apples. Stir over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add 3 1/2 cups stock. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the carrots and apples are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the soup solids to a food processor or blender. Add peanut butter and process to a smooth puree, adding the remaining 1/2 cup stock as needed so that it blends easily (alternatively, you can use an immersion blender directly in the pot). Pour the puree back into the soup, then stir in the pepper. Serve hot, garnished with peanuts, and cilantro Curried Carrot Apple and Peanut Soup will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for up to three months, so it's a great make-ahead meal option too
Roopam's Tip: If necessary to make a peanut/nut-free version try replacing with a seed butter like sunflower seed butter or tahini (sesame seeds). Get creative (and seasonal) with your own raw pumpkin seed butter or give it a power punch with a hemp seed butter. The "peanut" flavor will be absent, but texture will remain relatively the same!
Cantaloupe Carrot Smoothie
1/2 cantaloupe (approx 1.5 cups)
1 (Imperfect) apple
1 (Imperfect) carrot
Juice of 1 lime
Blend (with ice if desired) and serve!
Roopam's Tip: Throw in a pinch of salt. It will bring out the sweetness of the melon and help the smoothie hit all of the flavor spots on your tongue: sweet, sour, bitter and salty! Smoothies are a great way to use Imperfect produce because in the end it doesn't matter one whit what the fruits and vegetables look like before they are blended up! If you don't have a cantaloupe, an Imperfect honeydew will work just as well!