For this week’s post, a recipe selected from my archive of guest-requested recipes:
Roasted Carrot Soup
1 ¼ lbs carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ inch rounds
3 T vegetable oil
1 shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
½ t cumin
½ t espellette chili flakes
1 onion, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 T butter
1 ½ quarts reserved bean-cooking liquid
1 pint half & half
kosher salt to taste
Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
Combine diced onion, thyme sprigs (whole), butter and a pinch of salt in a medium-large saucepot. Cover with a round of parchment paper and sweat over a low flame, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, translucent and fragrant.
Once sweated, be sure to remove the thyme sprig.
As onion cooks, toss carrot slices with vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly on an oiled sheet pan and roast, stirring as needed, until fork-tender and quite browned (dark around the edges is okay). Start by roasting the carrots for 15 – 20 minutes, then check and stir every 5-8 minutes thereafter until the desired degree of doneness is achieved. Add the shallot, cumin and espellette chili for the last 5-8 minutes of roasting.
When the carrots are nicely roasted and the onions are soft and translucent, combine them in the same medium-large saucepot along with the reserved bean-cooking liquid. Increase the flame to medium-high and simmer the combined vegetables for approximately 20 minutes until very soft.
Carefully, and in small batches, transfer the cooked vegetables & their broth to a blender and blend very smooth before passing through a very fine-meshed strainer (chinois).
Add half & half and adjust seasoning to taste. If serving immediately, re-warm gently and serve in deep, warmed soup bowls. If planning to serve the next day, chill rapidly in an ice bath and re-heat as needed. Properly cooled, lidded and kept refrigerated, the soup should keep comfortably for 3 – 5 days.