Believe it or not, tomorrow is the first day of spring. If you live in the Boston area, then you probably know better than to get too excited about that fact. Although this week last year brought us temperatures in the 70's and trees blooming with flowers, this year brought us snow and freezing rain. Winter is certainly not over, and as anyone around here will tell you, it's not unheard of to get snow well into April. With the weather being so cold and wet, I thought it would be appropriate to post about soup (and I'm not the only blogger who felt this way). This carrot soup recipe came from Bon Appetit - the base soup is simple, just carrots and broth, but the carrots are roasted to give it extra depth of flavor. The toppings are what really make the soup special though. The yogurt adds some nice acidity, and the dukkah spice (an Egyptian spice and nut blend) gives the soup complexity. The soup is thick and filling and will definitely keep you warm while you wait for spring to arrive!
Roasted carrot soup with dukkah spice and yogurt
Adapted from Bon Appetit
You will probably have leftover dukkah spice after making this - store it in an airtight container. You can serve it as a dip with olive oil and bread.
1/4 cup shelled pistachios (either roasted or raw is fine - skip the toasting step if you use pre-roasted nuts)
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Low-fat Greek yogurt
If you are using raw pistachios, toast them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. Add sesame, coriander, cumin, fennel, and peppercorns to the skillet and toast, stirring often, until seeds are a shade darker in color and smell fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spices to the nuts and set aside until cool. Transfer nuts and spices to a small food processor (or mortar and pestle) and coarsely grind (don't grind into a fine powder - you want some texture).
Preheat oven to 425 deg F. Place carrot coins on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat carrots evenly with oil. Roast until carrots are tender and just beginning to brown.
Combine carrots and broth in a blender (or put them in a pot and use an immersion blender). Blend until very smooth. Transfer soup to a pot and bring to a simmer. Add a little water if you want soup to be a thinner consistency. Season soup to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve soup with a dollop of yogurt and a generous sprinkling of dukkuh spice.