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Carrot soup with cumin

This soup was inspired by the carrot velouté scented with coriander+cumin foam I had at the Musée d’Orsay’s Café Campana in February. Hm, “inspired” isn’t quite the right word; more like “became obsessed with until recreated in our own kitchen.” I suppose this could be made vegetarian, but it tastes best with a well-made chicken stock!

As seen in the picture below, leftovers of this soup freeze and defrost just fine.

bright orange carrot and cumin soup

Because the vegetables get whizzed up in the end, you don’t need to be terribly accurate with their preparation. The following are just guidelines so that the pieces aren’t so thick they end up taking too long to cook, or cook unevenly.


  • 2 pounds onions, chopped roughly into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch thick discs
  • 1/2 pound sweet potato (about 1 medium tuber), peeled and chopped into roughly 3/4 inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly sliced and lightly crushed
  • salt, as needed; I used Maldon smoked flakes
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 heaping teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 1 quart rich chicken stock, preferably unsalted
  • 1 pint or more of hot water, as needed
  • freshly ground pepper
  • (optional) crème fraîche, or heavy cream


  1. Caramelize onions in the butter and olive oil over medium heat, with a generous pinch of salt, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, macerate the garlic with another pinch of salt.
  2. Stir in the cumin and coriander. When the spices become fragrant, stir in the carrots, sweet potato and garlic.
  3. Add the chicken stock, and about 1 pint of water, enough so that the veg are covered. Simmer gently, covered, over low heat until the carrots and sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Skim off any large amounts of foamy scum that may form on the surface of the soup during this time.
  4. Purée the soup with an immersion blender, or similar tool. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper) and water.
  5. Add cream to garnish each serving, if desired.

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