When I went to the Okanagan in BC for yoga training, a wonderful person I had never met before offered to pick me up at the airport and let me stay at her house for a night. Her name's Rachelle, and she was becoming a teacher too. She is easily one of the kindest people I've ever met. Rachelle has her own yoga business now and I can't think of anyone who is more perfect to be a teacher than she is.
There was a huge walnut tree in Rachelle's front yard, and walnuts were falling everywhere. They had buckets of them just sitting around and she was kind of annoyed about having to pick all of them up. I was in awe of this tree. We don't have walnut trees growing in Manitoba, where it's a struggle to grow just about anything other than crab apples because of the extreme weather. Actually, crab apples are a great comparison, because so many people here have crab apple trees and just let the apples rot instead of doing something with them. (They make excellent apple butter.) I couldn't imagine having a nut tree in my yard, and considering the outrageous price of walnuts at home, I was pretty thrilled when she gave me a container to take back with me. I've been saving them for months, but finally brought some out for this recipe.
Despite eating soup at least a couple of times a week during the colder months, I haven't posted a soup recipe since August! We're in a strange transition time right now where there isn't really any exciting new produce available, but winter staples are starting to get a bit tired. Simple meals like this are tiding me over until spring really begins. Marie had a gorgeous pumpkin soup recipe as her guest post in October, but come on, it's April. Get your shit together, Alexandra.
Graham was cracking the walnuts for me and found a perfect little heart inside one. Of course.
About this soup - it's crazy easy. You just need a few ingredients, and the main ones are roasted in the oven, so no chopping/dicing/grating or any of that junk. All you need to do is roast some carrots and onions, toss them in a pot with some vegetable stock, spices, and lemon, and blend it up. There's about five minutes of work involved and the result is excellent. This is one of those recipes that you'll want to make after a long day. There are just five ingredients plus a handful of common spices.
While the pesto might seem like a fancy, time consuming addition, it's easy and speedy to make too. A minutes in the food processor or with a hand blender and you're good to go. It's a great dressing for grains, too, so if you have some extra, throw it on quinoa or millet or add it to a buddha bowl. I used a mortar and pestle for this the first time and it took forever, so I recommend using a blender of some sort.
Carrot Soup Ingredients:
8 medium carrots, or about 400 grams
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon avocado oil*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Heat the oven to 400F/200C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrub and trim the carrots and place them on the prepared sheet. Peel the onion, cut it in half, quarter each half (see above photo) and add them to the sheet with the carrots. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper over them.
Roast the vegetables for 45-50 minutes, or until the onions are starting to brown on the edges and the carrots can be easily pierced with a fork.
Place the roasted vegetables in a medium sized pot and pour the stock over them. Add the lemon juice, maple syrup, hot pepper, and garlic powder. Puree with a hand blender until completely smooth. Alternatively, if your blender worked with hot liquids, you can add everything to it instead and blend until smooth.
Add some more salt if necessary at this point, and serve the soup hot.*
Parsley & Walnut Pesto:
1/2 cup (30 grams) fresh parsley, stems removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts
Zest and juice of a lemon
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add everything to a food processor or blend with a hand blender until smooth. Serve over the soup with an extra drizzle of olive oil.
1. I like avocado oil because it does well at high temperatures. Use any high-heat safe oil in its place.
2. You may need to warm it up again on the stove if your vegetable stock was cold or if you stopped to take pictures of the roasted vegetables (ha).