“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 all over 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 pepper, fresh orange and rosemary for the spice. 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:
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!
What to get...
What to do...
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Peel carrots and potato, cut into chunks.
- In roasting pan place carrots & potato and drizzle with EVOO (about 3 T).
- Add sprigs of rosemary and salt & pepper.
- Roast uncovered for about 30 min.
- Check tenderness, then add 1/4 cup water, cover and roast till tender, about 30 more min.
- Remove from oven, cool slightly and cut into smaller pieces.
Make Bacon & Croutons:
- Reduce oven temperature to 375.
- In bowl combine all ingredients for crouton marinade except bread, whisking well.
- To bowl, add cut bread and toss, coating bread well.
- Spread bread out onto an oiled baking sheet.
- Bake in oven, stirring occasionally to make sure all sides are browning and not sticking to pan.
- Bake about 10-15 min, until crunchy throughout.
- At same time, place strips of bacon on baking sheet & bake in same oven until crispy, about 15-20 min, cool & drain on paper towels, set aside for crumbling on top of soup.
- **We'll be using a handheld immersion blender for this. if you don't have one, you'll have to run batches of soup through your food processor or blender.
- In large soup pot/enameled dutch oven, melt butter, add chopped garlic, celery, onion.
- Begin to sauté, then add 1/4 cup white wine, salt & pepper, to sweat-out until tender/translucent.
- Add rosemary.
- Meanwhile, in bowl add cream & milk & warm slightly. Add saffron threads, let steep.
- Once aromatics are tender on stove, add chopped roasted carrot and potato, stir.
- Add 1 can of chicken stock, and all dry seasonings. Let simmer about 10 min.
- Next use immersion blender & purée until smooth, with no chunks remaining.
- Add orange zest.
- Turn off heat and once soup is slightly cooler, stir in steeped saffron milk mix, combine.
- Return to heat, mixing in 3/4 of second can of broth slowly, to incorporate for a smooth consistency.
- Add more S&P as needed.
- Serve warm with little bit of sour cream on top, followed by crumbled bacon & croutons!
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).
from the kitchen of www.dinnervine.com
That really is one beautiful bowl of beta carotene…
The spice is indeed right-on with this! All of our flavors work harmoniously together, giving our soup a very fresh & bold flavor. Citrus-rosemary croutons and bacon give us the salty tang we need to make this a hit. At last, another Spring meal well enjoyed…rabbits would be jealous…