Roasted Carrot Soup
My friend and I just yanked the remainder of my vegetable crop out of the earth this past weekend. Leeks and kale and a few hearty potatoes were strewn across my wooden table outside – waiting to be cleaned by a pending rainstorm. But I was most excited about the carrots.
Some were tinged with purple, others a pale white and others still the traditional, bright orange. I had planted a “multi-colored” packet of carrot seeds earlier this year and promptly forgotten about them. And when I started pulling them out of the ground I was momentarily dismayed at their appearance. Many, too many, were tiny. We’re talking #2 yellow pencil small. Others were extremely misshapen – looking like two-legged orange pantaloons rather than your average, sleek and straight carrot.
But the taste? They are sublime. The purple are the sweetest, followed quickly by orange. The white ones? While interesting to look at – a bit on the bitter side. So I wanted to find a recipe that would blend my bounty together. And Roasted Carrot Soup was just the ticket.
I can thank Martha for the recipe below. She knows how to keep it uncomplicated. And I simplified the recipe further – excluding the ginger in hopes of coaxing out a pure carrot taste. I also substituted Greek yogurt for heavy cream. Not out of any attempt to be virtuous, mind you. I just failed to pick it up at the store. And really, I think the soup holds up quite well without it.
The nice thing about carrot soup is its versatility. You can toss in some fresh ginger or roasted cumin or even a bit of dill. Make it creamy. Or don’t. The world is your oyster. Or your bright orange bowl of goodness, if you will.
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Roasted Carrot Soup
Yield: ~ 8 cups
- 1 large onion
- 1 generous bunch carrots (about 2 pounds or 6 cups), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups vegetable stock, plus more for thinning
- Creme fraiche or Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut onion into 8 wedges (keep root end intact to hold layers together). Toss onion, carrots, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and spread in a single layer. If possible use separate pans for carrots and onions as the onions tend to roast more quickly. Roast vegetables, turning occasionally, until edges are deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
Cut off root end from onion. Transfer all vegetables to a large saucepan, and add bay leaf. Add enough stock to just cover (about 4 cups). Bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, and discard bay leaf.
Puree vegetables and stock in a blender until smooth (work in batches, if necessary, to avoid filling blender more than halfway).
Transfer puree to a clean pan; place over low heat. Add stock to thin soup to desired consistency. (I used about 2-3 cups of stock.) Season with salt and pepper. If desired, place a dollop of crème fraiche or Greek yogurt on top of each serving.