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Roasted Carrot Soup with Za’atar Chickpeas

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This simple roasted carrot soup recipe is made with creamy tahini and topped with crispy za’atar chickpeas. Naturally gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.

If you were to drop by our house at any point during the year and take an impromptu peek in our fridge, I can pretty much guarantee that you would always be greeted with an impressive amount of carrots.

Carrots with hummus are my husband’s all-time favorite snack, and he regularly swings by Costco to buy huge bags of organic carrots in bulk just to be sure that we never (heaven forbid) accidentally run out. So it’s a given that I’m always set to go whenever a soup recipe calls for a few carrots for mirepoix…or, hey, two pounds of carrots for this roasted carrot soup!

We love this soup in our house because it’s easy to make with a short list of healthy ingredients, including a full pan of carrots that are roasted until perfectly caramelized in the oven and puréed with creamy tahini, veggie broth, lemon juice, and a few simple seasonings. But the best part of this recipe is arguably the za’atar chickpeas that roast alongside the carrots to crispy, earthy, savory perfection. They’re meant to serve as a crunchy topping for the soup, but at least half of the pan typically disappears in our house before they make it to the soup — they’re too irresistible!

We love serving this soup with a big loaf of crusty sourdough or a simple green salad, but go with whatever sounds good. Let’s make some carrot soup!

Roasted Carrot Soup Ingredients

Here are some brief notes about the roasted carrot soup ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:

  • Carrots: We’ll use a full two pounds of carrots for this recipe, which roast up to provide a naturally sweet and hearty base for the soup. Be sure to cut the carrots into evenly-sized pieces (I recommend diagonal slices for maximum caramelization) so that they will roast evenly.
  • Tahini: This sesame paste adds a deliciously nutty, savory and creamy element to the soup.
  • Lemon juice: I recommend a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice to finish the soup, whose zing helps to balance the sweetness of the carrots and the richness of the tahini.
  • Aromatics: A simple mix of sautéed chopped onion and garlic will serve as our base aromatics for this soup.
  • Seasonings: Earthy ground cumin is our main seasoning here, which always pairs so deliciously with carrots, then don’t forget to season the soup as needed with fine sea salt and freshly-ground pepper as well.
  • Veggie broth: I recommend a good-quality vegetable broth to use as the liquid base for the soup. (I love Trader Joe’s organic veggie broth.)
  • Za’atar roasted chickpeas: We will also roast up a batch of crispy za’atar chickpeas alongside the carrots, which add protein and earthy flavor to the soup and are simple to make with olive oil, za’atar and fine sea salt.
  • Toppings: I enjoy topping this soup with a swirl of plain yogurt, finely-chopped fresh cilantro and extra za’atar, but feel free to use whatever toppings you love best.

Recipe Tips

Full instructions for how to make roasted carrot soup are included in the recipe below, but here are a few extra tips to keep in mind:

  • Thoroughly dry the chickpeas before seasoning. In order for the chickpeas to be as crisp as possible, it’s essential to thoroughly pat them dry (either with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels) before tossing them with the oil and seasonings.
  • Double-check the doneness of the carrots. We need the carrots to be nice and soft for them to blend well into a smooth and creamy consistency. So be sure to give them a quick check before removing them from the oven — they should mash easily with a fork.
  • Adjust seasonings and texture to taste. This soup is quite flexible when it comes to seasonings and texture, so please feel free to add more tahini, cumin, or lemon juice to taste if you would like. And if the soup seems too thick, you can always add in some extra vegetable stock.

Recipe Variations

Here are a few variations that you’re welcome to try with this recipe:

  • Add red lentils: Cook red lentils in the broth while the carrots roast and purée into the soup for extra protein. (You will need to add more broth and adjust the seasonings.)
  • Add extra roasted veggies: Roast some extra veggies in with the carrots, such as red bell peppers, sweet potatoes or cherry tomatoes.
  • Add coconut milk or cream: For an even creamier soup, add in some coconut milk or heavy cream to taste. (You may need to adjust the seasonings accordingly.)
  • Use different seasonings or mix-ins: There are so many different directions you could go with the seasonings and add-ins here, so feel free to get creative! You could mix in everything from grated fresh ginger to miso paste, basil pesto, citrus zest/juice,

More Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Looking for more creamy vegetable soup recipes to try? Here are a few of our favorites:

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Roasted Carrot Soup with Za’atar Chickpeas

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Carrot Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds carrots, sliced diagonally to 1” thickness
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • toppings: plain yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt), finely-chopped fresh cilantro or extra za’atar

Roasted Za’atar Chickpeas Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and thoroughly patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Roast the carrots. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the carrots on the baking sheet, drizzle evenly with 1 tablespoon oil, and toss briefly to evenly coat. Spread the carrots out in an even layer and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on the middle baking rack and bake for 30-40 minutes until the carrots are soft and lightly caramelized around the edges.
  2. Roast the chickpeas. Line a (separate) small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure the chickpeas are as dry as possible, discarding any extra skins that may have patted loose, then spread the chickpeas out on the baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil and toss until evenly coated. Then sprinkle evenly with the za’atar and salt. Place on the lower baking rack and bake for 30 minutes (simultaneously with the carrots), pausing to shake the pan at the halfway point so that the chickpeas will cook evenly, then transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack until ready to serve.
  3. Sauté. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and cumin and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the carrots are ready to go.
  4. Blend. Once the carrots are ready, add them to the broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tahini and lemon juice and stir to combine. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it is silky smooth, adding in extra vegetable stock if needed to thin out the consistency. 
  5. Season. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or tahini as needed.
  6. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with the crispy chickpeas and any additional toppings that you would like, and enjoy!


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6 comments on “Roasted Carrot Soup with Za’atar Chickpeas”

  1. This sounds fantastic and I have everything on hand except za’atar. Getting some immediately to make this. Thanks Ali :)

  2. This soup sound absolutely wonderful. I would add the lentils to make this a whole meal soup with enough protein. Even though I try to limit my carb intake, it would be well worth making this.

  3. I made this tonight for my family of five. We thought it was amazing! I didn’t have vegetable broth so I used chicken broth. I also added some yellow curry paste and paneer because I didn’t have za’atar and I just did salt on the roasted chickpeas. The soup would have been great by itself, just sharing what I did to show how wonderful and versatile this recipe can be.

    • Thanks Laura – I was going to ask if it can be made with chicken broth instead of vegetable broth The recipe sounds delicious (especially the zaatar chickpeas).

  4. Just made this wonderful soup. Absolutely delicious

  5. I made this yesterday and I am so glad! Yum. I did add the lentils to it. I found za’tar on Amazon, and intend to roast chickpeas with it often! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.