In the world of fall and winter vegetables , there are those that get the spotlight while others often play second fiddle to those that shine. I'm such a big proponent of carrots because the color is gorgeous and the flavor, especially when roasted, is a mellow,delicious flavor. This healthy soup is simple and uses the entire carrot package — tops and all!
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If you want to try this with the carrot top pesto, try hitting up your farmers market, local co-op or even Whole Foods. I have the best lucky finding the carrots still sold with the tops at the places just mentioned or a supermarket that has a decent size organic department.
However, if you can't find the carrots with the tops, you can still make the soup! Since I kill off my basil every winter, I like to mix it up with different greens, especially spinach and arugula. Using arugula in place of the carrots tops creates a nice zing.
If you're in a hurry, you can always skip the roasting and just boil everything until tender. Of course, I'd advise against this only because I love the flavor of roasted carrots — especially when combined with garlic!
Roasted Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto
- 2 bunches carrots, with tops if available
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup carrot tops or arugula
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 clove garlic
- pinch salt and pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- water to thin, if needed.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut carrots into 1/4" thick slices. Toss with olive oil and mashed garlic. Spread carrots into an even layer in a roasting pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until carrots are tender and just starting to brown. Remove and place in a stock pot.
Add vegetable broth and thyme to the pot along with the carrots. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until carrots are soft. Puree soup using a blender or immersion blender. Return to heat and stir in heavy cream. Heat again if needed.
While soup cooks, place ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as needed or if you would like the pesto to be a bit thinner, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Divide soup into two bowls and spoon pesto on top.