I feel like carrots are underrated... You don't see them listed as a superfood, they aren't being touted as the next fountain of youth, and I haven't seen them on any of the new "it" foods list.
But this underrated veggie has a lot to offer.
Carrots are full of beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays a critical role in how our body functions- supporting our vision and keeping our immune system running smoothly.
They have a good dose of plant fiber, great for increasing the diversity of our gut bacteria, which is so important for our overall health.
It is a carb dense veg with a sweet taste. If you are trying to get less sugar in your diet, carrots are a great way to get a hit of something sweet that is good for your body. Add carrots to your dinner and you might not feel that sweet tooth calling your name afterwards.
Carrots also happen to be one of a few vegetables that I can actually successfully grow here in the PNW. The last two years I have planted a big row of them in early summer, have done VERY little to nourish them, and come fall I've got all kinds of carrots to harvest. A green thumb I have not, but carrots I can do.
Between my fabulous CSA at Wild Hare Organic Farm and my own little garden, I've had lot's of carrots to enjoy lately. With temps radically changing this last week (I actually saw my breath this morning when walking the dogs!) and loads of carrots to use, I tried creating a roasted carrot soup. It happened to turn out amazing, so here it is!
Roasted carrots, potatoes to add some creaminess, a combo of fresh sage and cinnamon to add some layers or flavor, and topped with pecans and goat cheese (if you wish), it is basically fall in a bowl. Enjoy!
Immune Boosting Roasted Carrot Soup
Makes 3 large bowls, 6 small bowls
Takes about 45 minutes start to finish
4 large carrots, washed (no need to peel), and chopped into 1 inch rounds
3 tablespoons avocado oil
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, washed (no need to peel if washed well) and chopped into 1 inch cubes
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Salt and pepper to taste
Goat cheese for topping, optional
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Toss carrots w/ about 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and chili powder. Roast for 20* minutes, remove from oven, flip the carrots, and continue to roast until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Keep oven on.
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Add onion and 1/4 cup sage leaves and let them sit and caramelize undisturbed for 5 minutes. Stir, and let cook for another 2-3 minutes or so. Add the potatoes and saute for another 5-7 minutes.
Add the roasted carrots to the pot along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes, depending on carrot type and chopped size.
As the pot is simmering, in a small bowl, toss the remaining sage leaves, pecans, 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Lay on a baking sheet and let roast in the oven until the nuts are toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
When the carrots and potatoes are tender, turn off the stove, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.** Once you have reached your desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour soup into serving bowls, top with goat cheese (if desired) and pecan mixture, and eat!
*If you are using smaller carrots or ones that are peeled, roasting times may be shorter.
**If you do not have an immersion blender let the soup cool until you are comfortable handling it. In batches, add it to a regular blender and blend it until your desired consistency is reached.
Meal Prepping Tip- Make a big batch of this at the beginning of the week. Portion the soup into glass containers. Portion the pecans mixture into smaller glass containers along with goat cheese. When ready to eat, warm the soup and top with nuts/cheese combo.
Naturally Gluten Free and Vegetarian
Can be made vegan by omitting the goat cheese.