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Roasted Carrot & Cilantro Soup

Nothing says summer like a nice, big bowl of……hot soup? I know what you’re thinking, but this soup will seriously change your mind.

My in laws went on vacation this week and left us to look after their garden. Also, they asked us to clean out their fridge. What should I find but a large bag of delicious, bright orange carrots! Again, I know what you’re thinking. Big deal. Carrots are a kind of silent sideshow act. Deemed not worthy of front and centre placement. There’s carrot bread, cake and muffins…there’s carrots gratin, carrot kugel, glazed carrots. But really, it’s just a wee little root vegetable.
Not so anymore! This soup brings all the wonderful flavours of sweet, sugary, carrot goodness and pairs it up with one of my favourite summertime tastes, cilantro. You usually see carrot soup with cumin (yup, that’s in there too) or coriander, cilantro’s spawn. Rarely, if ever, do you see these two together, but it’s like they were born to be in this soup.
I think you could probably do this without roasting the carrots, but it has a very meaty texture and flavour borne out of caramelizing those sugars. So just do it okay?

Finished soup

Roasted Carrot & Cilantro Soup

Yield: Approximately 1 litre of soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time:40 minutes

1lb. carrots, peeled and uniformly sliced
1 tsp. veg oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. veg oil
3 small potatoes (I used 3 small nugget or new potatoes)
900mL low sodium chicken broth
1/2 bunch cilantro (I use just the leaves)

carrots ready to go

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss sliced carrots in 1 tsp. veg oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Roast in the centre of your oven for 30 minutes, turning once during cooking. Remove when slightly caramelized or blackened (don’t worry, they aren’t burned!). Set aside.

Caramelized carrots

2. In heavy bottomed saucepan, sauté onion on medium heat in 1 tbsp of oil. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into large chunks.

Onions ready to sweat it out

3. Once onions have turned slightly translucent, add potatoes and sauté for about 10 minutes.

Onions and potatoes stewing

4. Add the stock and crank up the heat. Once boiling, lower to a more manageable simmer. Keep simmering until the potatoes are almost done, then add the carrots that you roasted into the pot. Cook just enough to warm the carrots up, then remove from heat.
5. Pour soup into blender or food processor in batches (or use your immersion blender you kitchen gadget freak you). Add in your cilantro at this point as well. Blend it all up until it’s as smooth as you like.
6. Return soup to saucepan and reheat. Serve with crusty bread for dippin’ and maybe a swirl of sour cream or crème fraîche for you fancy people.

Finished soup

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