My za’atar roasted carrot soup brings a wonderful Middle Eastern twist to the classic carrot soup with a balance of sweetness, spice, and tang. This post is sponsored by Calphalon. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
With fall finally here, I’m looking forward to crisp mornings, the leaves changing color, and soup season. My cooking changes with the seasons and I gravitate toward soup during cooler weather. With soup being my ultimate comfort food, I’m excited to partner with Calphalon to share a new take on the classic carrot soup-za’atar roasted carrot soup with chickpeas. Za’atar and tahini bring a wonderful Middle Eastern twist to the humble carrot resulting in a creamy soup with a flavor kick, subtle nuttiness, and gentle sweetness.
- Carrots: Look for young, firm, bright orange carrots with healthy peels. Avoid carrots that seem dry, have small roots or crack, and feel lifeless. To prepare the carrots, simply chop off the green parts, wash them under cold water, and gently scrub them using a brush to remove as much dirt as possible. Organic grown carrots can be eaten unpeeled. If you’re short on time, peeling the skin is more efficient than scrubbing them.
- Za’atar: Za’atar is a mix of spices that include sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, and sumac which imparts a nutty and citrusy taste. You can make your own za’atar blend or buy premixed ones.
- Tahini: Tahini is a Middle Eastern pantry essential made from sesame paste. It lends a wonderful nutty flavor to the finished dish. You can find tahini at your local Middle Eastern markets and online.
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking. For this recipe, use canned chickpeas. If you’re using dried chickpeas, make sure to soak them overnight for 12 hours before cooking.
How to Make Carrot Soup
The base of the soup is quite simple–roasted carrots infused with flavors from za’atar, garlic, and shallot. Once the carrots were prepped, I tossed them in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, za’atar, salt, and pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes until just tender. Roasting the carrots intensifies their sweetness. This step makes all the difference between a decent carrot soup and an exceptional one!
To make the soup, I sauteed shallot and garlic until soft and fragrant in my Calphalon Premier™ Hard-Anodized Nonstick saucepan. The roasted carrots were added to the pan and simmered for another 15 minutes for the flavor to develop. Everything went into a high speed blender to get that ultra creamy texture. You can also use an immersion blender but the result is a coarser feel. Even though I don’t like washing extra dishes, the texture with a high speed blender is completely worthwhile.
The carrot puree went back into the saucepan with heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of tahini added in for richness and flavor and continued cooking for a bit longer. The whole kitchen was filled with a wonderful aroma while the soup finished simmering and the kids waited for their dinner. I enjoy the whole process of making soup especially with having quality cookware from Calphalon making everything a breeze from cooking to cleaning.
How to Roast Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a great addition to soups and stews. They lend a wonderful textural contrast to a dish. After rinsing, draining, and drying the chickpeas, I sauteed them in my Calphalon Premier™ saute pan with olive oil, salt, and za’atar to start the crisping process. The chickpeas were transferred to the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes to finish crisping up. I love how the Calphalon Premier™ saute pan is oven safe up to 450°F and can easily go from stovetop to oven. Less dishes to clean is always a win in my book!
What to Serve Carrot Soup With
I really enjoy serving the za’atar roasted carrot soup with the chickpeas to add some crunch, a dollop of Greek yogurt for tang, and fresh cilantro to lighten it. The roasted chickpeas make the perfect crispy, savory topping. Creme fraiche or crumbled feta would be great alternatives to the Greek yogurt. Skip the yogurt altogether if you don’t like it. For a complete meal, you can pair it with a salad, toasted sourdough, or pita bread.
This velvety za’atar roasted carrot soup has a wonderful balance of sweetness, spice, and tang. With two of my favorite ingredients shining through–za’atar and tahini, the classic carrot soup is taken up to the next level. The za’atar lends a wonderful kick while the tahini adds a subtle nuttiness to the soup, giving it depth and character. Nothing warms a cold day like a hot bowl of soup that is nourishing and deeply satisfying.
How to Store Leftover Carrot Soup
My za’atar roasted carrot soup is a great soup to make a big batch of and freeze for quick lunches or those nights when you have little time to put dinner together. Double the recipe, eat half now, then freeze the rest for later. Pour the cooled soup into airtight containers without the chickpeas, yogurt, and cilantro and put them in the freezer. Thaw and reheat on the stove when you need it. Just add the garnishes before serving.
For more soup inspiration, check these recipes: Vietnamese lemongrass coconut seafood soup, roasted carrot and cashew soup, Jerusalem artichoke soup, roasted kabocha squash soup, roasted romanesco soup.
Za’atar Roasted Carrot Soup With Chickpeas
- High speed blender
- 2 pounds carrots, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch length
- 1 1/2 tablespoons za'atar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and dried with kitchen towel
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place carrots on tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1 tablespoon za’atar, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender and lightly browned.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until softened.
- Add roasted carrot and vegetable stock to pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until carrot is softened.
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Transfer carrot mixture to high speed blender and puree until smooth.
- Add carrot puree back into pan. Add heavy cream and tahini and bring to a simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Thin soup with 1 tablespoon of water at a time for desirable consistency.
- To make the chickpeas, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven proof pan, add chickpeas, seasoning with remaining za’atar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes at medium-high heat.
- Transfer pan to oven at 400 degrees F and roast for 20 minutes until crisp.
- When ready to serve, divide soup among serving bowls, swirl through a dollop of yoghurt and scatter with crisp chickpeas and cilantro.