Roasting the carrots will take a bit of time but you will be rewarded with a much tastier, full-bodied, soup thatis ridiculously silky, easy to make, and tastes spectacular.
For the Roasted Carrot Soup
3Tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil divided
1 teaspoon cumin seedsoptional
1large red or yellow onionthinly sliced
2clovesof garlicsliced in thick chunks
1inchpiece of fresh gingerpeeled and thinly sliced
1inchpiece of fresh turmeric rootpeeled and thinly sliced (or sub 1/2 teaspoon ground)
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
5cupsvegetable broth or water plus more to thin if necessary
1/4cupChopped herbs such as parsley, mint, and cilantro for garnish
For the Crispy Chickpeas
215-ouncecans chickpeasdrained and rinsed
2tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoonground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoonsmoked paprika optional
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepperoptional
For the Lemon Yogurt sauce (optional)
1/2cupfull-fat Greek-style plain yogurt
2tablespoonsfresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Cut the carrots in half lengthwise, or in quarters if very thick, and place them on a large baking sheet (see notes*). Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the cumin seeds, if using. Toss to coat and arrange them in a single layer.
Roast the carrots until they’re caramelized on the edges and tender when pierced through with a fork, 40 to 50 minutes, tossing halfway. (The roast time will vary greatly depending on the variety, size, and age of carrots you use.)
Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas. Place the rinsed chickpeas on a large tea towel, or paper towels, and rub gently to dry, discarding any peels that come off. Place them on a large baking sheet evenly laid out so they are not on top of each other (use two trays if needded). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat. When the carrots have been roasting for about 20 minutes, place the chcikpeas in the oven with the carrots, and roast for 30-35 minutes or until they are crispy, giving the tray a shake halfway through cooking. As soon as you take them out of the oven, season the chickpeas with all the remaining spices, tossing to coat them well.
While the carrots and chickpeas are roasting, in a Dutch oven or large soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened 5 -7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a gentle simmer just before the carrots are done.
When the roasted carrots are cool enough to handle, cut them into 2-inch pieces and add them to the pot. Bring the mixture back to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Use an immersion blender directly in the pot to blend the soup until fairly smooth. Alternatively, for a smoother soup, puree the soup in bathces using a blender and return it to the pot to keep warm. NOTE: If using a blender, make sure your soup has cooled enough to safely puree.
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding a little more salt and pepper, if necessary. If serving with yogurt sauce, stir the yogurt and lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve the soup warm, topped with the crsipy chcikpeas, fresh herbs, and a few dollops of the lemon yogurt sauce.
*I prefer to cut the carrots once the have roasted and softened. If you prefer, feel free to cut the carrots into 2-inch, diagonal pieces before roasting them. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for about four days. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Roasted Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas by Sandra Valvassori at sandravalvassori.com