Make this chilled carrot soup the night before, and you’ll be all set with a simple yet elegant weeknight meal. Swirl in an easy pesto made from garlic scapes and pistachios for extra flavor!
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The other day I was helping pick out a menu for an event at work when one of the appetizer options caught my eye. Chilled carrot and yogurt soup with toasted cumin and almond oil drizzle definitely wouldn’t work for the event, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I grabbed a post-it and scribbled down the description so I could make something similar at home.
I made a few pretty big changes to my version – I didn’t want to spend a fortune on cumin seeds or almond oil, and since I’m still doing my month-long plant-based eating challenge yogurt was out of the question. Instead of the toasted cumin pods, I used roasted ground cumin, which is one of my favorite spices. I stirred in light coconut milk for creaminess – it’s sweetness is perfect with the earthy carrots. (Regular coconut milk will also work, I find that the light version blends easier.)
The soup was pretty good just like that, but I wanted to serve it as a main course and it needed something else to take it over the top. I swirled in some pesto that I made with garlic scapes from the farmer’s market (20 for $1 – get ’em while you can!). Perfect.
This soup is really thick and filling and the flavors are intense – a little goes a long way so you only need about a cup of soup per person. With bread or another starchy side, it’s a great light meal. I served it with oven fries that I tossed with minced shallot, lemon zest, and parley and suggest that you do, too.
Chilled Carrot Soup with Scape-Pistachio Pesto
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons b][roasted ground cumin [/b]
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2.5 cups)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup light coconut milk (canned)
For the Pesto
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 5 garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup raw pistachios
- 1 teaspoon b]nutritional yeast or [vegan parmesan [/b] (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft – 5-7 minutes. Add the carrots and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the carrots are soft – about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender, working in batched if necessary, and blend until smooth. Chill at least two hours.
- Just before serving, stir in the coconut milk. Swirl 1 teaspoon pesto (recipe follows) into each serving of soup.
To Make the Pesto:
- Add the olive oil, garlic scapes, and pistachios to a blender. Blend until a paste forms. Add the nutritional yeast/parmesan is using and pulse 3 or 4 times to combine. Thin with additional olive oil if needed. (This recipe will make more pesto than you need for the soup.)
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