We had a weird dinner the other night. It was an odd confluence of summer and fall foods. And by odd I mean incongruous and not at all well matched. I wanted to avoid the grocery store and was able to make everything with what we had here. On the menu, roasted carrot soup, homemade focaccia, and london broil from the guys at Arcadian Pastures. Looking back, the carrot soup and the london broil were perfect together. I should have tweaked the flavors of the focaccia to match the other dishes, but I am not very good at that kind of thing.
As you can see, it turned out very nicely and was actually pretty easy to make. But the real show stopper was this carrot soup. We had a ton of carrots that needed to be used and I made this one up as I went along. Though simple, this recipe produces a soup of surprisingly complex flavor that really takes the carrots to the next level. Here in New York the carrots are almost always slightly bitter, but roasting, and the subsequent caramelization, is the great equalizer. LMK, Brian, and I had a laugh because they both really loved the soup even though LMK doesn’t like soup and Brian doesn’t like carrots.
You won’t be surprised that carrot soup looks terrible at night when all you have is a flash and an overhead kitchen light.
2 lbs. carrots, washed, peeled, and halved or quartered depending on the size.
1 head garlic, bottom trimmed with skin still on
4 cups stock or bullion diluted in water
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
dash powered cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
dash fresh chives
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place carrots on large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon course salt. Place prepared garlic in a ramekin or other small oven-proof dish with a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt, and cover with small square of tin foil. Roast garlic until it is soft and golden, about 30 minutes. Roast carrots until edges start to turn deep brown (aka burn slightly), about 45 minutes. Flip carrots halfway through. Remove both from oven. After things have cooled a bit, put carrots and garlic into a blender and add the spices and stock until smooth. Pour into saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes or longer. Adjust spices to taste. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and splash of cream.