Roasted Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

carrot soup

As a kid I never used to like carrots, I would always pick them out. But my mom would make a soup very similar to this one and that would be the only way she would get me to eat my carrots. She would always tell me they are good for my eyesight. My eyesight was pretty bad, so I don’t think carrots would have made a difference even If I loved them. I ended up getting Lasik when I got older and couldn’t be happier.

You can use the carrot top to make pesto, instead of throwing it away. This recipe for pesto yields more than you need for the soup.  So you can use the leftovers to top roasted vegetables or eat it with some crunchy bread.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

2 bunches of carrots with the tops

4 medium white onions

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

200ml of cream

½ cup of grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

For the pesto:

2 bunches of carrot top

3/4 cup of fresh basil

120gr of toasted pine nuts

3/4 cup of grated parmesan

Zest of 2 lemons

About 1 cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

To make the soup:

Remove the carrot tops, reserve them for the pesto. Peel the carrots.

Wrap the garlic cloves with the skin on with aluminum foil, pouring a bit of olive oil inside. Place the wrapped garlic, onions with the skin on and peeled carrots on an oven tray lined with aluminum foil.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the vegetables. Roast at 180C/350F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once the vegetables are roasted, peel the onions and the garlic cloves. Chop the carrots. Place them in a large pot. Add the stock and blend it. I like to pass the soup through a sieve to make it smoother, but you don’t have to.  Pour the soup back in the pot. Then add the cream, parmesan and mix it until it is all combined. Then add salt to taste. Warm up the soup on medium heat.

To make the pesto, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is all combined.

Serve the soup with about one tablespoon of the carrot top pesto. If you want, drizzle a bit of cream on top for decoration.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Buckwheat

butternut soup2

It seems that winter is finally catching up. It has been quite a soft winter so far. But with the temperatures starting to drop this weekend and maybe snow on the way, a nice warm soup was in order. I roasted the butternut squash, garlic and onions in the oven to bring out their sweetness. For the toppings, I roasted some buckwheat with maple syrup and cayenne pepper (I find it quite an addictive snack). I also made some bacon crumbs. And for some peppery taste, I added some micro arugula that I grow myself in my teeny tiny little greenhouse.

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

1 butternut squash, peeled and sliced

6 pearl onions or 1 big onion, leave the skin on

3 garlic cloves, with the skin on

Splash of olive oil

1 ½ liter of vegetable or chicken stock

100ml of cream

Salt to taste

For the maple roasted buckwheat:

6 tablespoons of buckwheat

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

For the bacon crumbs:

12 bacon strips

Topping:

Micro arugula

 

Line an oven tray with aluminum foil; place the peeled and sliced butternut squash and unpeeled onions on the tray.  Cover one head of garlic in aluminum foil with a bit of olive oil inside and place it on the tray  (I roasted the whole head of garlic and only used 3 cloves for the soup, the rest you can use for another dish). Splash a bit of olive oil over the vegetables and roast at 180C/350F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Mix the buckwheat, maple syrup, olive oil, cayenne and salt in a small bowl.

Line an oven tray with parchment paper and place the buckwheat in a single layer. Roast for about 10 minutes, check that it doesn’t burn.  Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the bacon crumbs, just cook the bacon until crispy.  Allow to cool down and then put it in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs.  Set aside.

Going back to the soup, peel the onions and 4 cloves of garlic. Place them on a pot and add the butternut squash. Add the stock and blend until it is creamy.  Warm up the soup over medium heat and then add the cream and salt to taste.

Serve warm and top it with the roasted buckwheat, bacon crumbs and micro arugula.