I don’t remember when I started eating soup as an adult. By which I mean… I never didn’t eat soup but it became more exciting as an idea, as a meal, as something to make in my recent adulthood.
When I saw that Food52 listed this Roasted Carrot Soup as one of their website’s top 10 of all time recipes, I knew I had to try it. After all, the carrots I planned on roasting last week were still hanging out in the bottom of my fridge. They weren’t going to wait much longer for inspiration to hit me.
(Though did you know that you can save carrots that are just past their prime by submerging them in water? We’ll drop a bunch of limpy carrots in a glass container, fill to cover them with cold water and toss back in the fridge all day/overnight, and like magic, they regain their crunch and structure. Even more, they can hang out in water for a while, so long as you don’t let the water getting funny. So don’t be shy about stocking up!)
After making the roasted carrot soup as written the first time, I was in. But I knew I could cut out one pot and make flipping the roasting carrots easier. I also didn’t have ginger on hand and upped the garlic instead and found I liked it even more. Feel free to add in a peeled inch of ginger if you prefer to the stock. Just fish it out before blending.
The bowl of soup is more than the sum of its parts. The carrots become smooth and full of body and make it feel like a very indulgent bowl when in fact there’s no cream or butter. Don’t skimp on the olive oil, please. It adds a bright quality to the whole dish.
1 3/4 pounds carrots (about 6-8 large carrots)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups of your favorite low-sodium stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 - 3 sprigs thyme
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 - 4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt + pepper
garnish with chopped chives, a swirl of olive oil, and serve with toasted bread croutons (optional)
Preheat oven to 500º and turn on the broiler. Set an oven rack 8 or so inches down from the broiler’s heat source.
Peel and cut the carrots in half, lengthwise. If you have a few really large carrots, cut again to make them about the same thickness.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with a good glug of olive oil (about two tablespoons) and sprinkle generously with salt.
Broil the carrots until they soften and start to brown for 15 - 20 minutes, tossing and flipping them a few times.
Meanwhile, set a medium to large pot on medium heat, coat the bottom with the rest of the olive oil, and when it’s warm, add the onion. Cook until soft and starting to brown. Then, add the garlic to soften.
Add the cooked carrots to the soup pot, breaking them into smaller pieces with a wood spoon as you stir to incorporate the ingredients.
Add the stock and thyme to the pot, bring to a boil, and then lower to a lazy simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Puree the ingredients until smooth in a blender or use an immersion blender. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot (or cold!) adding a swirl of good olive oil, a small shower of snipped chives, a pinch of pepper, and/or with a side of good toasted bread cubes.
You can serve this hot or cold.
It holds its body so you can make this ahead of time.
Why not serve in shot glasses or tumblers as your friends spill in from the street to whet their appetites?
You can make this vegan soup or vegetarian soup or use your favorite chicken stock.