MAKES 6 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 15 minutes • COOK TIME: 30 minutes
Saffron is one of my favorite spices to cook with. Yes, it can be a bit costly, but you really need very little saffron to get a huge bang for your buck. Here it gives a luscious, exotic taste to the carrots, which are naturally sweet. Saffron is also a visual delight; in this soup the saffron looks like monks’ robes tossed against a vibrant orange background. Consider this dish a treat for all your senses.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
6 cups Magic Mineral Broth, or Chicken Stock, plus more if needed
2 1/2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup, plus more if needed
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, saffron, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté until well combined. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 5 1/2 cups of broth and another ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
Put the lemon zest in a blender and puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the carrot mixture. If need be, add additional broth to reach the desired thickness. Return the soup to the pot over low heat, stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt, and gently reheat. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon, a pinch or two of salt, or a drizzle of maple syrup. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
COOK'S NOTE: Meyer lemons are milder and sweeter than most store-bought lemons. If you don’t have Meyer lemons, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice combined with 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice. As for the zest, regular lemon zest is an acceptable substitute.
Reprinted with permission from Clean Soups Copyright © 2016 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, C