My fridge is brimming with bunches of carrots and I have two carrot recipes for you: the first (see post below) is a roasted carrot and turnip side with gremolata (garlic, parsley, and lemon zest) and the second is a fantastically flavored, spicy carrot soup. I never found a carrot soup that I really loved. I tried Moroccan carrot soup seasoned with ground toasted cumin cayenne, and honey, but I found it a bit too sweet for my taste (although I do love these spicy Moroccan carrots). I tried carrot soup with ginger and creme fraiche, but still felt it lacked depth and left me craving something more earthy.
I started with a simple soup: sauteed onions and garlic until soft, add carrots and simmered in a vegetable broth. I had a few turnips lying around and threw them into the soup to make it a little more hearty.
Then I pureed everything on the lowest setting of the blender. I left the soup unseasoned and then just before serving, I stirred in sea salt, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and curry powder and a drizzle of lemon juice. It is important to generously add salt (unless the broth you are using is salty); add a little sea salt, taste, and add more salt until the carrot flavor crosses over from sweet to, well, carrot-y.
The soup was light, spicy and wonderfully satisfying. The cayenne pepper added a nice kick, the ground cumin added earthiness and depth, the curry powder added a punch of flavor with a lovely lingering finish and the touch of fresh lemon juice brightened the flavors.
I think I finally found a carrot soup that I can love!
Carrot, Cumin and Curry Spiced Soup
2 1/2 bunches of small to medium sized carrots, about 1 1/4 lb
1 yellow onion, diced into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 cups vegetable broth
cayenne pepper to taste
ground cumin to taste
curry powder to taste
Peel carrots and slice into 1/2" pieces.
In a heavy stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter is foamy, add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add carrots and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. The carrots should be tender but not overcooked.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender and puree on the lowest setting. Or use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the stockpot (what a handy gadget).
Once ready to serve, season well with salt. Taste and keep adding salt until the sweetness of the carrot is softened and the soup tastes savory. Add cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and curry powder to taste. Drizzle with lemon juice. Stir to mix well. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and ground cumin.
For one serving, I added 1/2 tsp sea salt, a heaping 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, a heaping 1/4 tsp curry powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice.