Consider this brightly flavored and colored roasted carrot soup a canvas for your choice of vibrant garnishes with which to anoint it. Here, dots of chili oil and olive oil and pinches of microgreens, almonds, and sesame seeds add visual texture and flavor, but use whatever oils, greens, nuts, and seeds you have on hand.
Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup with Chili Oil
- 1-1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 fennel bulbs, cored and cut into large chunks, reserving the fronds
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil or extra-virgin coconut oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free red curry paste
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
- 6 cups gluten-free vegetable broth or water
- Kosher salt
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Chili oil, for drizzling
- Herbs or microgreens, for garnish
- Toasted and chopped almonds or peanuts, for garnish
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots and fennel with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the carrots and fennel to coat. Add the coconut milk, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lime zest and juice. Using a blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
Ladle into individual bowls, add drops of chili oil and olive oil, top with garnishes, and serve.
Photography Christine Han