I've sung pureed soup's praises before, and I'll sing them again: few foods are more satisfying, nourishing, and leftovers-friendly while still allowing room for experimentation and intrigue. This Middle Eastern spiced carrot soup is no exception. Creamy without using cream and garnished with all matter of excellent nibbles, it's the sort of soup that is worthy of a light meal in and of itself.
A quick word on the garnishes: I know what you're thinking: four components for one soup . . . isn't that a hair excessive? The short answer is no. Spiced chickpeas, a tahini-lemon dollop, dukkah, and parsley make the soup the lovely dish it is by providing loads of textural and flavour contrast, while adding minimal time and effort to the recipe.
Keep reading for the warmly spiced recipe.
For soup: For garnish: Serves 4-6.
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
900g carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 leeks, thinly sliced and cleaned
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt, to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable stock
Sherry vinegar, or another acid, to taste
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Dukkah, or sesame seeds for garnish
About 1-3/4 cups spicy roasted chickpeas
2 tbls flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped