Creamy roasted carrot soup is completely vegan, but it's so smooth and rich you'd never know. The recipe uses roasted carrots made specially for the soup, but I've found it to be a great way to repurpose leftover roasted veggies too.
Soak cashews overnight in 2 cups water.
Preheat the oven to 425F
Roll the carrots in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 minutes, turn and then roast another 10 minutes or until just soft and caramelized at the edges. Large carrots may take a bit longer. Remove and roughly dice. Set aside.
Meanwhile Cut lemon in half. Set one half aside and cut the other in half again. Set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a 5 qt pot over a medium high flame. Add the onions. Sprinkle with salt. Sauté 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium and partially cover. Cook stirring occasionally until soft and slightly caramelized and jammy looking, about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the tomato concentrate if using and cook until it starts to caramelize, about 1 minute. Stir in paprika. Cook 1 minute. Stir in the roasted carrots. Cover with 4 cups of water. Add cardamom pods, 1/4 lemon and the garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Meanwhile drain the cashews and rinse well. Tip into the vase of a blender with the juice of 1/4 lemon, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water. Pulse until smooth.
Remove lemon and cardamom pods from the soup. Add cooked carrot mixture to the cashews in batches and pulse until smooth and well blended. Return to the pot. Squeeze the remaining 1/2 lemon over the pot. Stir. Heat through. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly made croutons and snipped chives
You can dice the carrots and sauté along with the onions, but I think roasting brings out the flavor more. You can pretty much get everything else ready while they roast.
I usually wrap the cardamom pods and lemon together in a piece of cheesecloth. This makes them easier to fish out at the end of the cook time.
If you can’t find cardamom pods, add ½ teaspoon of ground along with the paprika or leave out altogether