With a combination of carrots and sweet potatoes that are quickly roasted, the base of a slightly sweet soup is created. When a combination of onions and spices is sautéed, this soup becomes well-rounded and full of comforting flavors. After a quick blend, the soup is ready to serve, either hot or cold, with a bit of heavy cream and some cilantro sprinkled on top.
1medium (8 oz)sweet potatocleaned and roughly chopped
3tspfresh thyme leaves
For the soup
½ tspkosher salt
1 ¼tspcoriander seed
1 ½tspcumin seed
6cupslow-sodium vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Chop the cleaned carrots and sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces and lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and rub it over all the vegetables, ensuring they are well coated. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and thyme leaves. Cut the top ¼ off the head of garlic, exposing the tops of the cloves. Set in a 12-inch square of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil, and tightly wrap in the foil. Place the foiled garlic on the baking sheet alongside the vegetables. Roast the carrots and garlic in the preheated oven until the carrots and sweet potato are beginning to brown and are tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove the garlic when the cloves are soft and turning brown after about 30-35 minutes. Once the vegetables have roasted, remove them from the oven. Open the foiled garlic and allow it to cool.
Melt the butter In a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and salt. Sauté the onion until it is soft and beginning to brown, 4-6 minutes. Add the cumin seed, coriander seed, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Sauté the spices until they are fragrant and beginning to toast, 2-3 minutes.
Once the spices are toasted, squeeze the roasted garlic into the mixture, discarding the husk. Add the roasted vegetables and vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer the soup until it is warmed through, 10-12 minutes.
After the soup has simmered, blend the soup using an immersion blender or blend in batches using a canister blender.
Serve the soup with a drizzle of heavy cream, Greek yogurt, or sour cream. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.
Since the soup will be blended once it is cooked on the stove, there is no need to peel the carrots and sweet potato, Peeling is an extra step that takes time and will not have a quantifiable difference in flavor once blended. If there are obvious discolorations or bad spots in the peel, those should be removed.
If possible, make sure to use butter when sautéing the onion and spices. Rather than a neutral oil, which is sometimes used when cooking onion, the butter will impart a deeper, more well-rounded flavor that will work well with the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potato.
If using a countertop canister blender to blend the soup, you may need to do it in batches. Also, remember to leave an opening for the steam to escape from the canister. Something that is hot could explode if there is no way for the heat to escape.