Well Dined

13Feb/130

Spiced Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini

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 I don't know about you, but I am not a huge fan of raw carrots.  Warm spiced carrot soup with tahini on a cold day, though?  Yeah, I'm a big fan of that.

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 This is another dish brought to you by my vegetarian lunches with Melissa at Smells Like Brownies.  She pulled together a couple of recipes to come up with this one.

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Carrots, onion, garlic, coriander, and cumin all go into the pot with vegetable stock.

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Then, after cooking til soft, they are pureed into a thick and smooth soup.

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That would be delicious by itself, but did we stop there?  Oh no.

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We made four garnishes!

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Chickpeas, roasted in the oven until crispy for croutons.

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Tahini mixed with lemon, to swirl through the soup.

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And lastly, chopped parsley and toasted tortilla points.  That sounds like a lot but to be honest, soup can get boring.  Adding in other textures and flavors can keep it interesting and fun.  You of course do not need to make all of these extras if you don't want to.; just do what sounds best.  Puree the tahini and lemon into the soup if you want.  Top with cilantro instead of parsley.  Make it your own!

Spiced Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4

For the Soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
4 - 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt, plus more if needed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable broth

For the Chickpeas:
1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained, patted dry on paper towels
1 generous tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

For the Tahini:
3 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch or two of salt
2 tbsp water

For the Tortillas:
A few whole wheat tortillas, cut into 8 wedges
Olive oil, to brush
Cumin, dried oregano, and sea salt to sprinkle

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Heat two tbsp olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add carrots, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper flakes and sauté until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Toss chickpeas with one tbsp olive oil, salt, and cumin until they’re all coated.  Spread them on a baking sheet covered in foil and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp, 10-20 minutes.  Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly.

Once the vegetables have begun to brown, add broth, using it to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Cover pot with lid and simmer until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small dish whisk together tahini, lemon juice, salt, and water until smooth with a yogurt-like consistency.  If more liquid is needed to thin it, you can add more lemon juice or water, a spoonful at a time, until you get your desired consistency.

Remove the chickpeas from the oven and set aside.  Spread tortilla wedges on the baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with cumin, oregano, and salt and toast in oven until brown at edges, about 5 minutes.

Puree soup in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.  Ladle into bowls.  Dollop each with lemon-tahini, sprinkle with crisped chickpeas, and garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve with pita wedges.

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