We’ve never served a soup course at our Thanksgiving, but I love the idea for quainter family gatherings. When your table has grown to include over forty heads, you don’t mess with the finer logistics of spoons and bowls. That said, this roasted carrot soup recipe would have been the perfect thing to thaw the unfortunate “climate” of our holiday meal a few years ago.
Thanksgiving has historically been the holiday that belonged to our branch of the family. That might sound like we carried more than our fair share. But when you’re Jewish, there’s a lot of hosting that happens throughout the year. And we never did any of it until November.
Every year, as the family continued to procreate, the issue of where to put everyone became increasingly tense. The guest list was beginning to outgrow our humble accommodations. So a few years ago, my dad decided to ditch the usual system, which involved one table stretched from the mouth of the kitchen all the way to the other end of the house, and move Thanksgiving dinner to our driveway.
Rational voices (the ladies) protested. And in the midst of mashing fifteen pounds of potatoes, we watched in horror from the kitchen window as a tent was erected, tables arranged on the gravel where the Subaru usually sat.
That was the first year all forty of us didn’t enjoy Thanksgiving around one table. As soon as each shivering person helped themselves to the cold food, they wolfed it down and then went inside to sit by the heater. It was also the year we finally lost our Thanksgiving hosting privileges.
Anyhow, my sadness over this fiasco has faded away over the years. And now I’ve come to love the holiday even more as an evening that’s not associated with several cooking meltdowns and a lot of logistical stress. But this year I was happy to put on my hosting hat again a little early for a Friendsgiving potluck celebration at Maman.
Since I basically make the same dish every year (stuffing) for my family’s dinner, I wanted to use the opportunity to indulge in something I’d never be able to bring to my own Thanksgiving table. And that’s soup.
This vegan roasted carrot soup with leeks was inspired by a potage I used to make, which uses potatoes instead of dairy to create a creamy texture. You simply bake the veggies until caramelized, then toss them in a pot with some peeled russets and simmer until fragrant and tender. I put a little Asian spin on it this time with some miso paste whisked in at the last minute and a Gomaso black sesame garnish. I love the idea of serving this as a starter, in whatever mismatched little prep bowls or tea cups you have around the house.
Ever since digestion month, I’ve been on a total probiotic binge. And as a result, I’ve totally fallen in love with South River organic miso paste. Make sure to add it off the heat so you don’t kill all that good bacteria. Because lord knows our guts need a little help preparing for the carby onslaught that follows the soup course.
What’s on the menu on your holiday table this year? Will a soup be involved? Will this soup be involved?!? Let me know in the comments section!
Wishing you all a very tasty Turkey Day and, as always, I’m endlessly thankful for you.
p.s. More last minute gluten-free Thanksgiving ideas here!
Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup with Miso and Black Sesame
- 1 pound carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large leek white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium russet potato about 1 pound, peeled and diced
- 8 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup yellow miso paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon black sesame or Gomaso, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the carrots, leek, onion, olive oil and salt until combined. Arrange in an even layer and roast in the oven until lightly browned and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetables to a large stockpot along with the potato and water (or stock). Bring to a boil; turn the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, add the miso and lemon juice.
- Puree using a stand or immersion blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as necessary. (Depending on how salty your miso paste is, you might need more).
- Transfer the soup to bowls or bugs and garnish with the black sesame seeds, pepitas or cilantro, if using.
This soup will be going on the my “keepers” list for week night family dinners. Perfect warming winter soup made from seasonal veggies. I love it when I can sneak some miso-goodness in there too. Oh, and I love the photos! So beautifully crafted. I must say, I especially appreciated the perfectly imperfect one of the soup dripping down the side of the cup. Perfectly imperfect! Health to your hands x
Phoebe Lapine says
yay Becky!! and thank you for your kind words about the photos!! I got a new camera and have been making a serious effort to up my game 🙂 let me know if you make the recipe! xoxo
This looks fantastic! I’ve really been enjoying cooking new soups this season and I especially love the tip leading to your prior post “potage”. Thanks!! XO
Phoebe Lapine says
yay thanks! That’s a great soup too. The fennel gives it an amazing aroma.
Little Cooking Tips says
Hi Phoebe! It’s been more than a month since our last visit (sorry for this) and what a month this was! Full of work, in order to meet the deadlines before the holidays, at the office, and then tons of cooking and baking! As usual we overstuffed ourselves with melomakarona and kourabiedes (we made 5 batches of those), lots of pork, lots of wine…It was great, but now we must see (again) how are we supposed to lose this extra kilos:)
Of course we had the opportunity to follow you through your Twitter feed throughout this month. Rio seems amazing, it’s one of those places Mirella (nods next to me) wants to visit at least once:) Our budget doesn’t allow that at the moment, so we compromised with visiting Evia and the mountain village of Steni were they have some amazing grilled and pit-roasted meats:)
The good think about visiting now, is of course the fact that we have more posts to enjoy!:)
Your dad’s Thanksgiving table in the driveway reminded us of a similar idea my (Panos) dad had, a few years back, for the Easter lunch. We gathered around the table, ate like maniacs and rushed back into the house, as it was early April and the temperatures were around 10 degrees(50F)!:) Never repeated this of course.
On to the soup now: it’s healthy, nurturing and absolutely delicious! Miso paste is a very hard thing to find here, but we read that mixing anchovies paste and tahini is similar, is that true? Did you ever hear that?
Thank you for another delicious recipe dear Phoebe!
Our best wishes for a healthy, creative, successful, HAPPY 2016, from the bottom of our hearts!
Panos and Mirella
Phoebe Lapine says
We actually met a wonderful couple who were from Athens when we were in Brazil! Made me think of you. Definitely add it to the bucket list. But no rush. Hopefully I’ll give you some pictures to live through when I get a chance to recap our travels for the blog! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday on Evia oxoxox