Carrot Cauliflower Soup and Roasted Chickpeas

Carrots and radishes are two vegetables that I can’t walk by in a farmers market without wanting to buy them all up and bring them home with me. They’re always stacked so beautifully, and their rainbow of colors against green leaves make me all sorts of happy. What happens next, of course, is that I end up with these large bunches of radishes and carrots and no plans of how to eat them.

This recipe is great way to put a big bunch of carrots to use and is, scouts honor, incredibly easy to get together. (For finishing up radishes, my personal favorite is on a open faced sandwich, thinly sliced and salted, on top of thick buttered bread.)

I know talking about the weather is all sorts of boring, but it really does play a big part in how I eat. I, and many of you I’m sure, eat with the seasons. Light salads and fruits for snack in the summer; carb/comfort food loading in the winter. Fall is for apples, warm spices, roots, and squashes. But the weather has been super wonky lately, leading me to fluctuate between summer and fall foods. 80 degrees in October is just mean. Pfth.

So, instead of a squash based soup, which would be my typical fall go-to, I went with carrot and cauliflower but brought in all the warm fall spices. It’s a soup for all seasons!

One of my pantry staples is canned chickpeas. They’re great for quickly mixing up some chummus, adding something extra to a salad, or just warmed with black pepper and salt (a classic 1930’s Lower East Side street snack). For this soup, I wanted a topping that would add texture AND be a vehicle for more spice. I’m not typically a fan of roasting chickpeas, but with enough time in the oven these turned out really well. Such a good snack! I had to stop myself from finishing them before the soup was ready.

Carrots and cauliflower are delicious vegetables, but when they’re sitting in a stock, simmering away, they lose some of their flavors. To kick this soup up, you’ll need to break out your spice arsenal and really pack a punch. This is no time to be spice shy!

This soup has the right balance of spice with a creamy (and cream-less) texture. Plus you get to break out the immersion blender (or whatever blender you use) to pull it all together. When I was growing up my mom didn’t use an immersion blender and now as an adult, it’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances; I still get giddy watching soups transform under its magical powers.

While writing this post, and feeling grumpy about the weather, I peeked ahead and saw all the “right” temperatures coming up later in the week. Doing a happy fall dance now and going to go make myself a bowl of soup.

Carrot Cauliflower Soup and Roasted Chickpeas

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
Soup
  • 1 Bunch of carrots (about 1 pound)
  • 1 Small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound) (both my carrots and cauliflower were a little over a pound)
  • 1 Small to Medium sized yellow onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • ¾ tsp Ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Curry Powder (I use a mild curry)
  • ¼ tsp Ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 3 Cups Stock (I used a vegetable stock but chicken would also be great here)
  • 1½ Tbsp Honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Plain Greek yogurt (optional)
Chickpeas
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas (15.5 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala**
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne (If you like heat add another ¼ tsp!)
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Slice the carrots into half inch discs or chop into small cubes. Break the cauliflower down to small florets. Put aside.
  2. Place a soup pot on the stove over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Dice the onion and garlic and add it to the pot when hot and sauteé them until they are translucent and soft - about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the carrot and cauliflower and the spices (including a little kosher salt and fresh pepper but not the honey!). Stir so that the spices are distributed over all the vegetables in the pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil. When it boils cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes.
  4. While the soup is cooking make your chickpeas. Preheat oven to 400°F
  5. Toss chickpeas with the olive oil and spices and spread them out in an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes and turn the chickpeas over at the 20-minute mark. They'll be done when they have a little crunch on the outside but still a little soft on the inside.
  6. Test the carrots in the soup. If you can break them easily with a spoon or fork you're ready to blend it. Use an immersion blender (or your favorite blending method) and blend all the contents of the pot. Halfway through add the honey and continue to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with your favorite greens and herbs and a dollop of yogurt. Sprinkle the chickpeas on the top. I dare you not to Instagram this.
Notes
**Garam Masala is an Indian spice blend that has turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, and cumin. It's an awesome versatile spice but if you don't have it on hand make a little mix of these individual flavors or similar ones. Seriously, you can't go wrong when making this soup.