After feasting on a bounty of delights with friends and loved ones, sometimes we crave the simplest things, like a bowl of homemade soup.
I don’t know about you guys, but for me, the days that follow any holiday are the least inspired cooking days all year long, no contest.
It’s not that there’s a lack of food – my parents’ fridge is no doubt still full five days after the holiday, with bowls and bowls of leftovers from the feast, and that meal was just one of the many we took part in through the weekend.
It’s just that, listen, we are full.
Maybe you feel the same way. Between my parents’ place and Tim’s relatives’ house, a favorite restaurant that we visited and plenty of snacks in between, we practically ate our weight in holiday meals.
On Sunday night, we returned home to our own kitchen. And here, our refrigerator was the polar opposite of those where we’d just been, the bearer of a paltry bag of carrots, a few eggs, a stick of butter, and some kombucha from the week before. But we weren’t distressed by this seeming lack of enticing options; it was all we could do to drink a glass of water and go to sleep.
Coming home from a long weekend like this means many things – exhaustion, unpacking, lots of laundry, and looming work. The mail had also piled up, and our box was stuffed with plenty of junk and advertisements, a few early Christmas cards, and best of all, this month’s issue of Bon Appetit magazine.
Yesterday morning, amidst lots of cleaning and conference calls and various work tasks, I flipped casually through the magazine. Just in case, by some miracle, a lunch could be made with what we had on hand.
Enter: this roasted carrot onion soup with dukkah spice.
To make it work (and to make it my own) I ended up replacing a pound of the carrots that the original recipe called for with onion, the fennel seeds that were suggested with anise, and the pistachios with hazelnuts (I had exactly 1/2 cup of hazelnuts in the pantry – would you believe it!).
All in all, this beautiful, spice-filled recipe is the perfect testament to making do with what one has.
Prepared with super-affordable carrots and onions, topped with a unique spice mixture unlike anything I’d ever tried before, and fortified with a container of homemade vegetable broth that I had in the freezer, this recipe is a testament to the fact that while some of the best meals we enjoy are the big holiday feasts, others are the simplest – just a bowl of soup and a spoon.
I’ve made carrot soup before, for the first time right after my mom bought me my first Le Creuset dutch oven. But this version, topped with a nutty spice blend, offers an entirely different taste experience. When you stir the finely chopped hazelnuts and spices through each bowl, the entire dish takes on new life.Print
This roasted carrot onion soup has a buttery, slightly sweet taste with a serious kick of flavor from a sprinkle of homemade dukkah spice.
For the Dukkah Spice Blend:
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
For the Soup:
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
- 1 pound yellow onions, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- Plain Greek yogurt, for serving
To Make the Dukkah Spice Blend:
- Place a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add hazelnuts and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour hazelnuts onto a plate and allow to cool just sightly, about 2 minutes.
- Once cool enough to handle, rub handfuls of hazelnuts between your palms to remove the skins. Place hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside.
- Return skillet to the stove over medium-low heat and add sesame, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds. Toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add seeds to food processor with hazelnuts.
- Add black pepper and salt to food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Set aside.
To Make the Soup:
- Preheat oven to 375°F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss chopped carrots and onions with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.
- Place baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast until vegetables are tender and just starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the slightly cooled vegetables to a high-powered blender. Add vegetable broth and blend on high until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a stockpot and place over medium heat. Stir occasionally until hot, about 10 minutes. For a thinner soup, add water 1/4 cup at a time and stir between additions until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Once soup is heated through, divide evenly between four bowls. Top each with a sprinkle of the dukkah spice blend and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Curry
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Chicken
Keywords: curry, Thai, chicken, slow cooker
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients, Chop Vegetables, and Preheat Oven
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Rinse, peel, and chop the carrots into 1-inch rounds. Roughly chop the onions.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Step 2 – Make Dukkah Spice Blend
Place a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the hazelnuts and toast until the skins are starting to fall off and the nuts smell fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Keep an eye on them and stir occasionally, to avoid burning.
Remove from heat and pour the hazelnuts onto a plate to cool slightly, for about 2 minutes.
Once they’re cool enough to handle, rub handfuls of hazelnuts between your palms to remove the skins. It’s okay if you don’t get all of the peels off. Place the nuts in a food processor, and set aside.
Return the skillet to the stove over medium-low heat and add the sesame, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds. Toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add the seeds to the food processor with the nuts.
Add the black pepper and salt to the food processor as well, and then pulse until the mixture is coarsely ground. Set aside.
- This spice blend can be made up to 1 week ahead of time, and stored in a glass jar in a cool, dry place.
- This recipe makes quite a bit of spice, so you’ll likely have some left over. I’ve found it’s delicious sprinkled over eggs for breakfast.
Step 3 – Roast Vegetables
In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped carrots and onions with the melted unsalted butter, salt, and pepper. Once the vegetables are coated well, transfer them to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown, about 45 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow vegetables to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.
Note: adding hot vegetables immediately to the blender can cause pressure to build up and possibly cause the top to blow right off, spraying out hot liquid. Wait for them to cool sufficiently before blending, and use caution!
Step 4 – Puree Vegetables
Transfer the slightly cooled vegetables to a high-powered blender. Add the vegetable broth and blend on high until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. You could also do this with an immersion blender in a large stockpot.
Step 5 – Heat Through
Pour the mixture into a stockpot set over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, warm the mixture through.
If using a boxed or canned vegetable broth, bringing the soup to a boil and then reducing the heat is recommended. For a thinner soup, add water 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
Step 6 – Top with Spice Blend and Greek Yogurt
Once the soup is heated through, divide it evenly between four bowls. Top each with dukkah spice blend and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
For the spice blend, I recommend sprinkling just a little over each bowl and then putting the extra spice blend out on the table in case anyone wants to add a little extra.
The spice blend is a beautiful garnish on top! If you want to gain more savory garnishes for soups, you can also use our savory granola recipe, too!
Onions Contribute More Than Just Flavor
While many of us are aware that vegetables are healthy, I frequently hear people say that onions are only important for flavor, not nutrition. Perhaps surprisingly, that’s not actually the case!
For a food that’s so low in calories, onions are impressively high in a few essential vitamins and minerals. These include:
- Vitamin C: important for keeping our immune systems running strong, as well as collagen production, tissue repair, and iron absorption
- Vitamin B6: essential for metabolism and the creation of red blood cells
- Folate: essential for growth and repair of cells
- Potassium: important for many processes in the body including blood pressure, water balance, muscle contractions, digestion, and heart rhythm
So, the next time you hear someone question the nutritional benefits of onions, you’ll be prepared!
Looking for more onion-heavy soup recipes? We’ve got you covered!
Are you an onion fan? Share your favorite way to enjoy this pungent vegetable in the comments below. And if you enjoy this recipe, show us how much you loved it by leaving a rating as well!
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 27, 2012. Last updated on November 29, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Kelli McGrane and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.