I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really been a huge carrot fan. You know when you are chomping on some carrots and one turns out to taste bitter and almost rancid? Your face grimaces and it’s all you can do to survive the 3 seconds it takes to spit it out. Or is that just me? This is a thing, I promise. I think I live in fear that any carrot could be that carrot. But, my friends, this is no way to live!
I decided to brave my carrot-ey fears when I came across Five and Spice’s Roasted Carrot Soup that added some orange and cumin to the mix. My mind whirred and my glands salivated at the prospect of such simple flavors combining gloriously. Plus I thought that roasting carrots would prevent the Dreaded Bitter Carrot by bringing out the natural sugars. Add some garlic in there, and you’ve got a soup going!
Roasted Carrot Soup topped with crispy chickpeas
– adapted from Five and Spice’s recipe
Wash, peel and roughly chop carrots in 1/2 – 1 inch pieces. On a parchment lined baking sheet, toss in carrots and garlic cloves, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and black pepper. Make sure it is all evenly coated and spread out. Throw a rosemary sprig or two on the sheet and bake till it looks and smells gorgeous, about 25-35 minutes or so. Stir once or twice.
Heat up a bit of olive oil in your soup pot and throw in a diced shallot, a chopped sweet onion and if you like things crazy, another garlic clove. Allow to saute a bit. Once those carrots and garlic are done, throw into the pot. Zest some orange and and ginger over them. Pour in 4 cups of vegetable broth and stir up. Put a mint or rosemary sprig in the soup. Bring soup up to a boil, then simmer till the carrots get super soft, about 10-15 minutes.
Heat up a couple dollops of grapeseed oil in a saute pan. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Saute them up with some cumin, salt and pepper. Add some sesame seeds once they start to crisp. Stir occasionally till they get browned and crunchy. Careful of popping oil. It hurts.
Take out the rosemary/mint spring and add some fresh squeezed orange juice to taste. Blend up the soup with a table top blender or use an emulsion blender. If using a tabletop blender, be careful! Blend in batches and take off the plastic middle part of the lid to let the heat escape a bit which prevent explosions.
Add salt, cracked black pepper and cumin. Taste! Add more spices, orange juice, ginger or chopped rosemary/mint as necessary. Dish out , and top with a generous helping of crispy chickpeas and some freshly chopped parsley.
If you are like me, eat while watching The Taste and laughing at Team Hot Mess.