Roasted Carrot Soup

I’m a soup kinda gal.  When people ask how I stay fit for running, I tell them that my summer/spring salad lunches and my autumn/winter soup lunches are partly my secret.  In the summer months, I make mason jar salads with layers of veggies, beans, and grains.  I can pop them in the fridge on Sunday and take them to the local pool during the week. In the colder months, I make soups.  I typically make one on Sunday and then another midweek.  I typically prefer them to be vegetarian but hearty.  And, while I try to avoid topping them with creme fraiche or marscarpone (using plain yogurt instead), and while I try to accompany them with a toasted slice of sprouted bread (instead of a thick slab of toasted Superlonga from Whole Foods smeared with olive oil and rubbed with garlic), sometimes I just want to reward all of my hard work with some of life’s little indulgences.  Sometimes we all should, right?

This soup is a riff on a recipe I read in the New York Times Cooking section.  The original version, by Martha Rose Shulman, calls for less garlic and no leek, but I found the soup benefits from the extra flavor.  I finish this version off with chopped tarragon but parsley would work well too, and, as most soups do, a drizzle of good olive oil.  Be sure to let your vegetables get a nice brown along their edges- that caramel color means more flavor.  And, while the original recipes has you adding the veggies to a blender, I had great success with my immersion blender, which also meant less clean up, which also meant a happier me. If you want to keep this vegan, just use vegetable broth and do not finish it with the creme fraiche; it will still be delicious.

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 pounds of carrots, peeled and sliced into medium sized chunks (I use organic, so I can skip the peeling part because I am lazy)
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into medium sized chunks
  • 1 medium potato (a sweet potato works too, if you’re off white carbs!)
  • 6 large cloves of garlic (in their skin)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced into half circles
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Tarragon or parsley, chopped to garnish
  • Creme fraiche, marscarpone, or plain yogurt

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Place carrots, parsnips, potato, garlic cloves, and red onion on baking sheets.  Toss with olive oil and kosher salt. Once oven is warm, place vegetables inside, roasting for 20-25 minutes until the edges have browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, sautee leek in about 1/4 cup of olive oil with a few pinches of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.
  4. Once vegetables are cooked, add them to the leek. Sautee them all together for a few minutes.
  5. Add enough broth to cover everything by an inch or two.
  6. Use your immersion blender (be careful the mixture is hot!) to blend everything together, adding more broth until you get the desired consistency.
  7. Salt to taste.
  8. Serve in bowls, topped with fresh chopped herbs, a dollop of creme fraiche, and a drizzle of olive oil.  If you can, place a slice of toasted bread smeared with olive oil and rubbed with some garlic right in the bowl.

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