Smoky Cumin and Chipotle Carrot Soup

butterfly Serves: 4 as a starter, 8 as an entree

Written By Eydie Desser


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I met an incredibly amazing, kind and brilliant chef, Lior Lev Sercarz at his spice store in NYC called L’ Boite.  His spices are curated from around the world and are super fresh and delicious!  He also has books on the subject (see Cook’s Notes). I hosted a fundraiser for his involvement in creating the first ever International Culinary school in the Middle East called Thee Galilee Culinary Institute.  After reading the Chef’s books, I learned that using spices will not only elevate the flavor of your dishes, they’ll elevate your health as well.  Spices are filled with antioxidants and other health promoting properties!  So use them generously.

I made the chef’s delicious carrot soup for the fundraiser, of course taking out the oil and salt with no detriment to the taste.  You will love Chef Lior’s use of spices here.


Spice Blend:
For the Soup:
  • 5 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 9 medium carrots, scrubbed, halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 large celery stalks, halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice from about 2 oranges
  • 3 cups cold water


Make the Spice Mixture:
  1. Finely grind the cumin and pink pepper together in a spice grinder and then mix with the chipotle powder and smoked paprika.
Make the soup:
  1. Place a 5 quart saucepan, or Dutch oven over medium high heat for about 1 minute, or until a piece of onion placed in the pot, sizzles. Pour the rest of the sliced onion into the heated pot and quickly dry saute, stirring for 30 seconds. Lower heat to medium low and add spice mixture to the onions, stirring to combine. Cook for about 30 seconds or until  the spices become very fragrant.  
  2. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, allowing the onions to sweat and release their natural oils. Cook, covered for about 2 minutes.  Lift the cover and give the mixture a stir, replace the cover and continue to cook the onion mixture until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes total. Be sure to lift the cover every couple of minutes or so, to stir and scrape up any fond (brown bits) on the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add carrots and celery and stir well to coat with the spices. Cover and cook, stirring and scraping occasionally to soften the carrots and infuse them with flavor, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the orange juice, stir well, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of cold water and bring to a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are cooked through but still retain a fresh flavor, about 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth, working in batches if needed and adding more water if you prefer a thinner soup.
To Serve:

The soup can be served in a 4-6 ounce cup or shooter for a delicious “shooter” or hors d’oeuvre, or in a small bowl as a first course, or a large bowl for an entree.  It is satisfying,  and sure to please you and your guests!

butterfly Cook's Notes:

Chef Lior Sercarz books:  Mastering Spice and The Spice Companion”.  I highly recommend these books.  They will totally transform the way you cook!

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