Carrots are one of my favourite vegetables, and one of the few I could be coaxed into eating during my fussy childhood days. I’m partial to raw carrots, which are quick and easy to consume en masse as a snack, so I’ve probably eaten more carrots over the years than any other food. Yes, I love carrots that much. Even so, there are times when I tire of the same plain carrot format, but carrots are a versatile creature, more so than we often give them credit for. They meld well with a variety of flavours, and perhaps most importantly, for recipe testing, they are very forgiving. It takes a lot of effort to screw up carrots.
I was pleasantly surprised that it took only two trial runs to get this recipe to the right spot and I think that’s a testimony to how flexible and miraculous carrots can be. And how to stretch that carroty-goodness even further? Carrot greens are very usable, very tasty, and perfect for pesto. Unfortunately, they often get chopped off by the time they make it to the grocery store shelves (I’m looking at you Whole Foods), so you may have to check a few different stores.
For the Soup:
1 bunch of carrots (6 to 7 carrots usually)
1/2 cup of fresh dill
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 rounded tsp of garlic
2 tbsp of fresh ginger root
1 tsp of turmeric
32oz of vegetable broth
2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
2 tsp of black salt (can use regular salt as well)
For the Pesto:
2 cups of carrot top greens
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 rounded tsp of garlic
1 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of olive oil
For the soup:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop up the carrots. It doesn’t matter the size, as long as they’re cut consistently. In a mixing bowl, mix together the carrots with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 cup of fresh dill until the carrots are coated with the oil and dill. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
3. In a medium pot, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over low-to-medium heat. Add the 1 rounded tsp of garlic, 2 tbsp of ginger root, and 1 tsp of turmeric. Cook until the garlic and ginger have softened a bit (a couple of minutes).
4. Add the carrots and the 32 ounces of vegetable broth. Add the 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 2 tsp of black salt. Bring to a quick boil, reduce heat again, and cook, while stirring frequently, until the soup is thoroughly hot.
For the pesto:
1. In a food processor, blend together the 2 cups of carrot greens, 1/3 cup of pine nuts, 2 round tsp of garlic, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 cup of olive oil – and that’s it, you’re done!