Roasted carrot and fennel soup with dukkah spice

Posted on December 18, 2012

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This is a great cold weather soup that can be made vegetarian or even vegan.  Simply substitute the bacon fat for olive, avocado, or coconut oil.  You can also use butter or duck fat.  It’s pretty simple to make and has great wintery flavors that differ slightly from the traditional cinnamon and nutmeg variety.  Roasting the vegetables with bacon grease won’t make them greasy , but will lend a nice smoky flavor to the soup.  It also helps cut down on the natural sweetness of the carrots, which my fiance loved.

For soup:carrot2

2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ rounds

1 large fennel bulb, sliced

2 Tbsp rendered bacon grease, or other paleo friendly fat

1 quart vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

For dukkah spice:

1/2 cup raw, shelled, unsalted pistachios

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns

In a medium bowl mix carrots, fennel, melted bacon grease or other fat, and salt and pepper.  Toss veggies until they are thoroughly coated.  Spread mixture out over a shallow baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven until veggies soften and just begin to brown, about 30 minutes.  You may need to lower the oven temp to 375 if using olive or coconut oil in place of the bacon fat.

While veggies roast, heat a small skillet over medium high heat and toast pistachios just until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add all other spices and toast, tossing frequently until they become fragrant, about another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  In a food processor or spice grinder pulse spice mixture into a coarse powder.  Set aside.

Once veggies are roasted, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.   Combine vegetables in a blender with broth and blend, working in batches if necessary, until very smooth.  Pour mixture in a medium pot and heat on low.  Add half of spice mixture along with salt and pepper and allow to simmer until flavors begin to meld, at least 15 minutes.  Add more broth if a thinner texture is desired.  Serve garnished with more dukkah, and fennel fronds.  Enjoy!

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