the spice is right

“If carrots got you drunk, rabbits would be messed up!” – Mitch Hedberg.

Okay, couldn’t resist from beginning this post with a classic Mitch Hedberg quote, one of my favorite comedians. Since we’re focusing on carrots, well. . . .

I cannot deny fresh seasonal produce, and carrots are popping-up at markets everywhere these days. I get mine from a local grower and they are really sweet. I have recently made delicious cake out of them, but had another bunch to get creative with, so that leaves us with a Roasted & Spiced Carrot Soup. The other day I had a cup of Morrocan carrot soup, and though I am not a fan of curry, I was inspired by the velvety texture of my bountiful bowl. I decided to conjure-up my own version using spices I fancy and that compliment our carrots well. We’re going to give this soup a special touch by using real saffron strands that we’ll combine with our milk for a creamy consistency. Also making an appearance will be ginger, cayenne, fresh orange and rosemary for our spices. This round, we’ll also be busting-out the handheld immersion blender to give our soup a truly smooth texture.

There’s more! Going to get all gourmet with a topping of freshly made citrus-rosemary croutons and a little bacon. Why not? Get your big soup bowls on stand-by ’cause this one’s going to be good!

Here’s where to start:

 

5 from 1 reviews
Roasted & Spiced Carrot Soup
Saffron & spiced roasted carrots make for a fantastic soup! We're using a hand-held immersion blender to give this a velvety texture. Sour cream, bacon & freshly toasted, rosemary-citrus croutons are perfect toppings! This is healthy and very tasty, enjoy!
Serves: good sized pot, 6-8 servings
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 10 carrots, peeled
  • ½ sweet white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled & sliced into chunks
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, for roasting carrots
  • 1 32-oz carton low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup cream
  • 6 saffron strands
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ T fresh orange zest (or lemon)
  • ¼ cup white wine, for sautéing onion
  • S&P (to taste)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for roasting carrots
  • 2T butter, for sautéing onion
  • 4 strips bacon (to cook separately as topping)
  • sour cream (for topping soup)
For Rosemary Citrus Croutons:
  • 2 large pieces sourdough bread, cubed (I use a whole wheat sourdough)
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 T shredded parmesan cheese blend
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 1 T balsamic
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
What to do:
Roast Veggies:
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut peeled carrots and potato into chunks & place on roasting pan with rim. drizzling with EVOO (~3 T).
  3. Add sprigs of rosemary, salt & pepper on top of chunks, and roast pan uncovered for ~30 mins.
  4. Check tenderness, then add ¼ cup water, cover with foil, roasting till tender, ~30 more mins.
  5. Remove from oven, cool slightly & cut into smaller pieces.
Make Bacon & Croutons:
  1. Reduce oven temperature to 375.
  2. In bowl combine all ingredients for crouton marinade except bread, whisking well, then adding bread chunks stirring to coat.
  3. Spread bread out onto a foil-line baking sheet, baking ~10-15 mins until crunchy (stirring croutons occasionally to brown all sides).
  4. While croutons bake, crisp bacon on stove, drain on paper towels and set aside.
Make Soup:
  1. **We will be using a handheld immersion blender for this (if you don't have one, you'll can run batches of soup through a food processor or blender).
  2. In large soup pot/enameled dutch oven, melt butter, add chopped garlic, celery, onion.
  3. Begin to sauté, then add ¼ cup white wine, salt & pepper, to sweat-out until tender/translucent, then add rosemary.
  4. Meanwhile, in bowl add cream warm slightly in microwave. Add saffron threads and steep, set aside.
  5. Once aromatics are tender on stove, add chopped roasted carrot & potato, stir.
  6. Add half carton of chicken broth, and all dry seasonings & let simmer ~10 min.
  7. Next use immersion blender in pot to purée until smooth, with no chunks remaining.
  8. Turn off heat and once soup is slightly cooler, stir in steeped saffron cream & orange zest..
  9. Return pot to low heat & mix in rest of broth slowly, to incorporate for a smooth & desired consistency (can add more broth as needed).
  10. Taste seasoning level, adding more S&P as needed.
  11. Serve warm with little sour cream on top, followed by crumbled bacon & croutons!
Notes:
Roasting the carrot & potato offers time to prep the rest of soup, but if you want to go faster, chop them raw and steam on stove. Roasting lends more flavor though.
If you do not have an immersion blender, you can run soup in batches through your blender or better, a food processor. It is more tedious.
Let soup cool some before adding the saffron milk, so milk & cream do not separate from heat. (it can still be warm-medium however).
Serving size: whatever fits in your bowl

That really is one beautiful bowl of beta carotene…

The spice is indeed right with this one. All of our flavors work harmoniously together, giving our soup a very fresh & bold flavor (not to mention color). The soup alone is flavorful, but the citrus-rosemary croutons and bacon give us the salty tang & texture to make this even better. At last, another Spring meal well enjoyed (rabbits would be jealous).

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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