Carrots often get the short end of the stick, don’t they?
Playing the supporting role in meal preparation, often served raw alongside other veggies with dip or chopped up and tossed into vegetable soups and stir-frys.
I’m guilty of putting baby in the corner. When I think carrot my mind subconsciously drifts to what I can pair with the humble orange vegetable. And because I love me some stir-fry.
But thanks to a picture of an impressively orange, beautifully styled roasted carrot soup that showed up in my Pinterest feed, I’ve come to see carrots in a new light. Because I drank that glorious-looking soup up with my eyes, and then immediately wanted it in my tummy.
Fast-forward through several roasted carrot soup iterations and experimentations. And plenty of taste-testing.
The result? SPICY ROASTED CARROT SOUP.
The thing about roasted carrots? The cooking process transforms a carrot’s flavor, bringing forward a beautiful sweetness. And if there’s one thing I know about sweetness, it’s that you should bring on the spicy!
The jalapeno may be a vegetal star (hello, jalapeno poppers!), but here, today, it’s supporting the carrot in this sweet, subtly smoky, and spicy soup.
I wanted this roast-y carrot soup to be easy to make but layered with flavor. In an, I want to be lazy and not have to go out of my way to buy obscure ingredients way, but I also wanted it to taste comfortingly complex. Like a warm, welcome hug from the inside out.
Plus, you can totally multitask as you make this Spicy Roasted Carrot Soup.
Git those carrots prepped, then drizzle with olive oil and shake on salt, pepper, and cumin. YES, CUMIN. It may seem an unlikely pairing, but the flavor adds an addictive and subtle citrus-y smokiness.
Then ‘git them in the oven to roast.
As the carrots get where they need to be in the oven, prep the rest of the ingredients so that by the time the carrots are done roasting, you’re ready to just toss ‘em in and finish the soup.
Boom. Multi-task for the win.
Serve yourself up a bowl. Okay, PAUSE. This Spicy Roasted Carrot Soup. Upon first bite, the roast-y sweetness of the carrots hits then is followed by a smoky, subtle heat. It’s a warming heat, the kind that slowly and delightfully builds. It’s so addictive. Good thing carrots are good for you, right?
And have fun with the garnishes. I like adding a few swirls of crema. It’s nice and cooling against the spice of the soup. You could also add a dollop of sour cream or stir in some heavy cream. Or add some crunch by tossing in some croutons or crunchy pepitas. MMMMM.
- For the roasted carrots
- 1 (2
pound) bag of carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
- Drizzle of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper, to lightly season the carrots
- For the soup
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely diced*
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 3 dashes smoked paprika
- Pinch of cinnamon**
- 1 chipotle
- Roasted carrots
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½-1 cup water (optional, wait until the very end to add)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add prepared carrots to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, add cumin, salt, and pepper. I like to give the carrots a light coating of salt and pepper, but add as much or as little seasoning as you prefer. Rub the olive oil and seasonings all over the carrots, until well coated.
- Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, until tender. Don’t worry if the carrots are a little firm, they’ll soften up as they simmer in the soup.
- As your carrots roast away, begin prepping the rest of the veggies. Add 2 tablespoons (or two generous pats of butter) to a pot and turn to medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add chicken stock (or vegetable stock), cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chipotle en adobo pepper, and a few dashes of salt and pepper, and increase heat to
medium high. If your roasted carrots are done at this point, toss ‘em in too.
- Simmer for around 10 minutes (once the carrots have been added), then bust out your stick blender. You’ll want to reduce your heat to low or remove the pot from the burner as you blend. Blend, blend, blend until smooth.
- If your soup is a bit paste-like at this point (as it usually is for me), add some water. Slowly add water, blending after each addition, until you achieve the consistency you desire. I find I usually need to add at least ½ cup of water because I like my soup to be thick, but definitely not reminiscent of jarred baby food.
- Taste your soup, and add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
**When I say a pinch, I literally mean a pinch. Cinnamon is potent and we don’t so much want the flavor as the warming effect it contributes to the soup.