Sunday, June 17, 2012

Soup to Nuts

Roasted Carrot and Potato Soup with Hazelnuts and Garlic Croutons
I was looking for something new for my weekly vegetarian rotation and ways explore the world of vegan cuisine. I've done some successful vegetarian recipes, but vegan cooking is a whole other world. Good vegan food is deliciously nourishing, but bad vegan food is bland and, quite frankly, not very filling. The real challenge is that animal fats provide rich, easy flavor infusions and their absence can make for some pretty dull dinners. Vegan cooking is a fun challenge because it forces me to think differently about flavor. This soup is an easy vegan meal made rich and delicious with curry powder, soy milk, and hearty hazelnuts. Garlic croutons add a great dose of crunch and fresh chives are the perfect finish!

- 6 large carrots, peeled and quartered
- 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 small yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, diced
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
- 2 c. soy milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 c. roughly chopped hazelnuts
- 1 small handful chopped fresh chives
- 2 c. garlic croutons

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and spritz lightly with cooking spray. Spread potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes evenly on the foil. Heat oven to 425˚F. Drizzle vegetables with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika and roast in oven for 25-30 minutes until vegetable soften and begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

While vegetables are roasting, heat remaining olive oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot oven medium. Add onion and cook until very soft, about 7-9 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add roasted vegetables to onion with 2 c. of vegetable broth and curry powder. Bring to a boil. Lower and cover. Simmer vegetables over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend soup to a puree with an immersion blender. Return soup to low heat and stir in soy milk slowly until soup becomes creamy. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. When soup is heated through divide among bowls and top each serving with chopped hazelnuts, chives, and croutons. Yummy!

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