“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:
- 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)
- 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
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut peeled carrots and potato into chunks & place on roasting pan with rim. drizzling with EVOO (~3 T).
- Add sprigs of rosemary, salt & pepper on top of chunks, and roast pan uncovered for ~30 mins.
- Check tenderness, then add ¼ cup water, cover with foil, roasting till tender, ~30 more mins.
- Remove from oven, cool slightly & cut into smaller pieces.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375.
- In bowl combine all ingredients for crouton marinade except bread, whisking well, then adding bread chunks stirring to coat.
- Spread bread out onto a foil-line baking sheet, baking ~10-15 mins until crunchy (stirring croutons occasionally to brown all sides).
- While croutons bake, crisp bacon on stove, drain on paper towels and set aside.
- **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).
- In large soup pot/enameled dutch oven, melt butter, add chopped garlic, celery, onion.
- Begin to sauté, then add ¼ cup white wine, salt & pepper, to sweat-out until tender/translucent, then add rosemary.
- Meanwhile, in bowl add cream warm slightly in microwave. Add saffron threads and steep, set aside.
- Once aromatics are tender on stove, add chopped roasted carrot & potato, stir.
- Add half carton of chicken broth, and all dry seasonings & let simmer ~10 min.
- Next use immersion blender in pot to purée until smooth, with no chunks remaining.
- Turn off heat and once soup is slightly cooler, stir in steeped saffron cream & orange zest..
- Return pot to low heat & mix in rest of broth slowly, to incorporate for a smooth & desired consistency (can add more broth as needed).
- Taste seasoning level, adding more S&P as needed.
- Serve warm with little sour cream on top, followed by crumbled bacon & croutons!
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).
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).Pin It