Last summer, we had a bountiful crop of carrots in the garden and I struggled to find recipes in which to use them all. I wish I’d had this recipe then. Not only was it delicious and used up a rather large bunch of carrots from the CSA box, everyone at the table gobbled it up and asked for seconds. If I’d been thinking while I was cooking, I could have even made the soup be GAPS-friendly (minus the croutons and cheese). Alas, that didn’t occur to me until after the soup was made.
This soup strikes just the right balance between being familiar and a little bit different. I really like the baharat spice mixture, which I was previously unfamiliar with. It hails from the Arab region and comes in many different forms. You can read more about it, and find one variation of a recipe here. You may have a hard time finding the spice mixture in your grocery store, but it’s no trouble to mix up your own. Whenever I’m making my own spice mix, I like to start with whole spices and then grind them together in my little electric coffee grinder.
For the croutons, I used a heel of stale bread. I earned bonus carrot points by using bread made with the carrot pulp from the daily juicing. And since I’d just finished making a batch of whey and cream cheese, I served the soup topped with the cream cheese. Yum!
I also chose to use chicken broth instead of water. But I think this would also make a delicious chilled summer soup, in which case I would use the water.
If you have some spice mix leftover, don’t fret. Use it as a rub on chicken, beef, or lamb. Mine is begging for some lamb chops and a grill.
Carrot Soup with Baharat-Spiced Croutons
Source: The Art of Real Food by Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny
Course: Soup and Chili
- 2 Tbs olive oil or butter
- 1 cup onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 4 cups water
- 2 pounds organic carrots peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baharat spice
- 1 Tbs butter melted
- 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread crusts removed, bread sliced into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/2-1 tsp baharat spice
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the soup:
- Place oil in a soup pan; add onions and garlic. Saute until soft. Add water, carrots and salt. Simmer until carrots are soft. Use a hand blender to puree carrot mixture. Add baharat and taste; add more in 1/2 tsp increments if desired. Garnish with baharat-spiced croutons.
- For the croutons:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine butter and bread cubes. Add 1/2 tsp baharat. Add more in 1/2 tsp increments if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast on a sheet tray 8 minutes, until brown and crispy.