A couple of months ago, I was watching the latest season of Top Chef and one of the contestants made a carrot soup. (Yes, I watch Top Chef.) I have been thinking about that carrot soup for a couple of months. I haven’t been able to find that particular recipe online, but there are plenty of carrot soups out there.
I usually get an idea about some foodstuff that I want to consume and I think about it for a bit. Then I read about it on Serious Eats and Food 52. I might google recipes and read a few of those as well. I get a rough idea of what I want to accomplish, head to Wegmans, buy way too much stuff, come home and get to work. Yesterday was carrot soup day.
What follows is a roasty, herby, yummy carrot soup that is easy to make, super healthy, and hearty. I think that this soup is also a pretty solid template for a number of root vegetable variants. I would guess that parsnips, sweet potatoes, or beets would work really well. Actually, as I write that I think I am going to try it with beets. Also, I did not include a picture of the final product because it is genuinely beautiful and I want you to make this and be surprised by it. Trust me.
1 Large Sweet Potato
1 Large Onion
Vegetable Stock (4 cups)
1. Peel 3 carrots and slice them into rounds. Peel one inch or so of ginger and cut it into four chunks. Heat up the coconut oil so that a very thin amount is coating the bottom of a stock pot. When it is melted and good to go – throw those carrots and that ginger in there and let it saute. When the bottom of the pot is orangey looking and carroty smelling (5-8 minutes), pour 4 cups of stock in there. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Throw a bay leaf in there. Twist a cinnamon grinder 3 or 4 times in there too. You can do it more or you can do it less, whatever. Up to you. I don’t care.
(Steps 2 and 3 should happen concurrently)
2. Take the remaining carrots, peel and slice into rounds. Do the same thing to the sweet potato. Put the veggies in a bowl and hit them with olive oil enough to lightly coat all the pieces. Salt and Pepper. Take 6 sage leaves and chop them. Add them to the bowl. Mix it all up well, spread on a baking pan, turn the oven onto a high broil and slide the pan in there. I started with the pan close to the broiler and moved it down. You can do whatever. Just stir them occasionally and flip the rounds when you can. Don’t let it burn. You are trying to get sweet and roasty here. Not burned and sad. It’s going to take 30-45 minutes in there. Be vigilant. No burned and sad carrots. Pull them out when they are soft. Taste them and make sure they are seasoned well.
3. Cut the large onion in half. Slice it into long pieces. Time to caramelize. Hit the pan with a couple of glugs of olive oil. (Not EVOO) Warm to pan to medium. Introduce the onions. Liberally salt (Kosher!) the onions and stir them about so that they are entirely coated in olive oil. They will look like this:
Stand there and stir for about an hour. Eventually they will look like this:
And then they will look browner. And then you will add the roasted veg. You will stir and combine and then pour the stock over them. (Before adding the stock, remove the bay leaf and the ginger chunks)
4. In small batches blend the soup to a velvety, smooth consistency. Power past the baby food stage.
5. With the orange velvety soup completed, mix in 3 teaspoons of chopped, fresh dill.
You could top it with a lot of different things. Maybe a little sesame oil? Balsamic vinegar? A couple of toasted hazelnuts? Up to you. I ate it straight, with multigrain bread. Oh, I regret (a little) not adding a hefty pinch of cayenne pepper somewhere early in the process. Again – up to you.
I am going to do this with beets. I will report back. I think the beet variant will need that hazelnut topping. I will report back.