This carrot soup is so dreamy. It's smooth and refreshing, even if you prefer to have it warm. The subtle hints of coriander and fennel seeds take this simple soup to another level. And then when you think it can’t get better, it does. The sumac roasted chickpeas add the right amount of texture and just a little bit more brightness. Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that comes from berries which are dried and ground into a powder, slightly fruity and tangy. You can find it in Middle Eastern markets or online. If you can't get your hands on Sumac this time around, don't fret, you can still roast the chickpeas with the other ingredients and add a touch of lemon juice. Make this to impress anyone and they will be WOWed. Promise.
chilled coriander & fennel seed carrot soup with sumac roasted chickpeas
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
5 cups vegetable broth
zest and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
sumac roasted chickpeas
1 cup chickpeas, cooked, well-drained and patted dry
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sumac
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes or until translucent. Mix in carrots and cook for 2 minutes, and season with salt. Stir in ground coriander and fennel seeds and cook 8-10 minutes to release the fragrance of the spices. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender, 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make sure chickpeas are well-drained and pat them dry with a paper towel or dish towel. In a medium bowl, add olive oil, salt, 1 teaspoon sumac and smoked paprika. Spread chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and add remaining teaspoon of sumac to chickpeas and stir to mix well.
Remove soup from heat and let cool slightly. In a blender, puree in batches until smooth. (Feel free to use an immersion blender if you have one!) Return to pan and add lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled, or warm if desired, with sumac roasted chickpeas.
*Vegan option: skip the butter. Go olive oil, all the way!