Astragalus, Carrot and Ginger Soup with Limes and Clementines ( a variety of orange )
2 tablespoons Ghee clarified butter
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 shallots, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound carrots (about 4-6), finely sliced
3 slices Astragalus root Astragalus mongolicus
4 cups chicken stock or water
Juice of 5 clementines (about 3/4 cup)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Shreds of lime and clementine zest, for garnish
1. Heat butter and sunflower oil in a small dutch oven, add shallots and a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and golden. Add ginger and carrots and sauté a few minutes more. Add the Astragalus root slices, stock or water, clementine juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Strain into a pitcher;remover Astragalus root slices, put solids into a blender with 1or 2 ladles of strained liquid, then purée, adding extra liquid if necessary. When smooth, add remaining liquid and purée again.
3. Reheat if necessary, taste and adjust seasoning, then serve soup in bowls and top with lime and clementine zest.
just a note* Astragalus is a chi tonic that strengthens the digestive and immune systems. Astragalus also raises the metabolism and helps treat chronic weakness of the lungs. Grated zest of limes and clementines add spark to this golden, gingery soup. The mild taste of clementine juice works well, but orange, mandarin or tangerine juice also works.