Because I love you (and because I love to cook) and because I love to share what I’m cooking with you, I’m going to let you in on one of my biggest cooking secrets- I mostly just wing it when I’m in the kitchen!
That’s not to say I don’t mostly know what I’m doing (my husband will tell you I spend a whole lotta time on pinterest reading and pinning recipes, reading stacks of cookbooks off of my cookbook wall, and watching Food Network shows in real time and On Demand). So I soak up I read and watch. What foods go with what, flavors of spices I like together, cooking methods that work for different proteins. Then I try whatever is in my head (or my pantry) at the time and hope my family likes it. I’d say 85% of the time I cook great meals and 15% of the time something is not quite right or not our favorite taste. But I keep learning and refining and reading and repeating.
This recipe was born out of a major excess of carrots. If you are anything like me, you head to Costco or Sam’s to pick up an inhuman amount of carrots because they are great for everything! Snacks with peanut butter, chopping into stew, shredded on top of salads, roasted in the oven as a side dish, baked in the oven into savory chips, or baked into a delectable carrot cake. But those good intentions fall by the way side and I just end up with a ton of carrots begging to be used. Luckily they have a long shelf life. (Double lucky for me because I usually end up with a doubly huge amount after I buy a second huge bag thinking I’ve already gone through the first-ha!)
So here’s the recipe. Add what you like, omit what you don’t, and just experiment!
Roasted Carrot Soup:
1 Giant Bag of Carrots (or however many you have on hand).
Crushed Garlic (2-4 big cloves)
Salt and Pepper
6 Cups of chicken stock (you could use veggie stock if you want to keep it meat free)
1 tsp. each salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cumin
add a pinch of red pepper flake or a few dashes of tobacco if you like things spicy
Preheat oven to 350.
If you buy organic, just trim the ends off of them. If not, scrub them in the sink OR peel them if you are weird about skins. Dry them and lay them flat on a baking stone or baking pan with sides. Drizzle them all over with olive oil and toss them around a bit to make sure they are well coated. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper so that all carrots have a nice dusting. And last but not least squeeze on the crushed garlic (use a garlic press if you have one) and spread the garlic around the carrots. The more garlic that’s in contact with the carrots- the better. Bake carrots for 2 hours or until a fork slides in with no resistance.
While the carrots are roasting, heat 6 cups of chicken stock in a large pot. It doesn’t have to boil but doesn’t matter if it does. When the carrots are done roasting (they will look charred and shriveled) carefully add them to the hot stock and let them simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the soup cool a little bit (I cleaned up the kitchen 😉 ). Using an immersion blender, blend the carrots and stock until the soup is a nice consistency. In full disclosure, this creates a fairly thick soup. If you like it a bit thinner, strain your soup through a fine mesh sieve or use a food processor in batches to puree the soup into a thinner consistency. Keep all of the pureed soup in the large pot and add your seasonings. Let the soup simmer for an hour or so then add your favorite garnish. My go-to is goat cheese and green onions, but sour cream, croutons, goldfish, tortilla chips, shredded parm, or fried shallots would be perfect additions, too.
I served our soup up with a big, toasty, open -faced grilled cheese sandwich made with layers of colby jack cheese, crispy thick bacon, and a thick and bubbly layer of fontina. Dipped in the soup, it was freaking amazing, people.