The humble carrot doesn’t often play the starring role in main dishes, but carrot soup is one of the best exceptions. And yet… most carrot soups fail to satisfy. They are often either too bogged-down by heavy cream and butter to even taste like carrots or they are so light and refreshing that they don’t really work as a meal. I’d like to think this recipe is the perfect compromise of the two. The soup has a nice, creamy consistency and a thick body thanks to the sweet potatoes and the addition of tahini. Soy sauce gives it a complex, meaty “umami” flavor. In contrast, it is still a nice, light soup with plenty of refreshing ginger and lively heat from the Sriracha.
I would highly recommend investing in all the Asian ingredients that are called for because they are great staples, are found in lots of different Asian dishes, and make this soup incredibly flavorful and unique.
Three-Sesame, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
2 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup mirin or white wine
8 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup tahini
2 T soy sauce
black sesame seeds
toasted sesame oil
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots and ginger and cook until ginger is fragrant, about two minutes. Deglaze the pan with mirin, then add stock. Raise the heat to high and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until potatoes and carrots are very tender, about 40 minutes.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, add a little of the hot liquid to the tahini and stir to dissolve. Add mixture to soup and puree with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy (alternatively, you can puree the soup in stages in a food processor or blender). Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a drizzle of oil and Sriracha sauce to garnish