The sourness of rhubarb is often seen as something that we need to overcome with a lot of sugar, but the tart flavour lends itself really well to liven up soups. If you think of how prevalent lime has become as a savoury addition to soups, marinades and other dishes, you can start to see where rhubarb could add some zing. This particular soup is modified from a recipe I found online years ago, and I’ve switched a few things up. The original soup was quite dairy heavy, and was served with cinnamon croutons – also very tasty, but this version brings an almost Thai like flavour with the coconut milk mixing with the tart soup. Yum!
2 shallots (or one small onion) — minced
1 tablespoon oil or butter
1 ½ pounds carrots — cut in 1/2″ dice
½ pound rhubarb — cut in 1/2″ pieces
½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate (the last time I made this I used the juice of 1 lime, a bit of extra water and two tablespoons of brown sugar)
1 ½ cups veggie or chicken broth
1 can coconut milk – or 2 cups milk
salt and pepper — to taste
tarragon or cilantro
In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the shallots in the butter or oil until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, over medium-high heat for a few minutes and then add broth. When carrots are beginning to get tender (15-20 minutes of cooking in broth), add the rhubarb and orange juice, cover, and cook until rhubarb is soft – 5-10 minutes longer.
When carrots and rhubarb are fully cooked, puree the soup until it has a smooth consistency. Add coconut or regular milk, and warm to serve. Add chopped fresh herbs like tarragon or cilantro, season with salt and pepper and serve!