Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Roasted Carrot Soup with Cumin & Thyme

Carrot Soup

Virtuous soups are the stuff of January in the food blog world. So let's just get this out of the way, okay?

But this soup is hardly white noise. I had never given much thought to carrot soup until I made this completely on a whim. I had a bunch of carrots in need of saving, so I roasted them up with a little cumin, salt and pepper. Then I made them into soup.

And force-fed it to my toddler so I could say he eats his veggies.

I'm kidding.

Sort of.

He did eat it, though, and it made me feel rather sneaky. I tell myself that he's working on his fine motor skills as he carefully picks any hint of green or vegetable out of his dinner as a nightly ritual.


Mmm... Velvety

So anyway.
Back to the soup.

I don't know where the idea for the cumin came from, but I'm glad it came because it's a lovely combination with the sweetness of the carrot. Add in some grassy thyme and it's a winner.

It has this velvety feeling in your mouth, which comes courtesy of a pat of butter and a splash of half and half. But even without them the carrot purees up smoothly, but with enough texture that it won't remind you in the slightest of baby food.

I like mine with some cooked lentils (I like the precooked ones from Trader Joe's), but my husband prefers his without. Either way, you can't go wrong with something yummy to dip into it!

With lentils

Roasted Carrot Soup with Cumin & Thyme

2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
salt and pepper
1/2 of a medium onion, medium dice
1 qt. vegetable or chicken stock
1 c. water
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. cumin + a sprinkling more
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. butter (optional)
1 Tbsp. half & half (optional)

Heat oven to 350ยบ. Toss carrots with oil to coat (about 1 Tbsp. or so), along with a pinch of salt and pepper and a sprinkling of cumin. Spread in a rimmed baking sheet and roast until fork tender -- an hour and a half or so.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a medium-sized pot over moderate heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until softened and translucent. Add roasted carrots, stock, water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and puree soup until very smooth (I use my immersion blender right in the pot, but you can use a regular blender or food processor. Be careful with the hot liquid, and work in batches if needed!) Add lemon juice and cumin, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. For a velvety texture, stir in 1 tsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. half and half or cream.

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