Roasted Carrot Soup

With one of my seed orders this past spring, I received a gift with purchase packet of carrot seeds.  I sprinkled them haphazardly into my planter bed not really expecting anything to come of them.  Here we are in November, and having left them in the dirt for several months, I decided it was time clear out the beds.  I pulled about half of them out, gave some to my mom, and with the rest, decided to make a carrot soup.  Because of the tight space and not having thinned any out, I had a wide array of shapes and sizes.  A soup seemed the way go as it really doesn’t matter what the carrots look like. 
1 ½ lbs Carrots, peeled and trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp finely minced ginger
¼ Cup white wine
1 Bay leaf
3 Cups chicken broth
½ Half and Half
Freshly ground nutmeg

Cut the carrots into smaller pieces, about 2” long and ½ to 1” thick.  Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven until soft, about 30-35 minutes.  Roasting the carrots intensifies their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness.
Sauté onions in a large pot with a little olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.  Add carrots and continue to sauté for another few minutes.  Deglaze pot with the wine.  Add in the bay leaf and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down, cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, coming apart when pressed with a spoon, about another 10 minutes or so. 
Remove the bay leaf.  Let cool for a bit and then puree in a blender in batches.  A lot of blenders will not be safe to use for pureeing hot liquids.  It will cause the top to pop off.  So, be careful.  Some blenders, like mine, have a steam releasing top and so blending hot liquids is okay, but still proceed with caution.
You can make the soup up to several days ahead up to this point and refrigerate until ready to use.
Return the pureed soup to the pot and add in the half and half.  Bring back to a simmer and let simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes.  Add some freshly grated nutmeg to finish.  Serve with fresh chives sprinkled on top.
As per Stella, "Wow, I like this.  Now I can see better without having to chomp on hard carrots."


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