Winter and I have a love hate relationship. I love winter because, from a cooking point of view, it means comforting foods such as soups, stews and hot puddings are on the menu. Is there anything better than sipping a steaming hot soup on a cold winters day? Ok, maybe eating a piping hot pudding with lashings of cream is better, but eating piping hot food when it's cold outside is infinitely comforting.
But I hate winter because it means cold, cold mornings, where you get frostbite the minute your toes hit the bathroom tiles and you begin to crave going to bed early just for the comfort of being under a warm doona. While there's always the option of turning on the heater, the heat it generates is a horrible dry heat, and it's never quite the same as being in front of an open fire, which as we all know is not particularly environmentally friendly.
While I'm lucky enough to live in Queensland, where winter is much milder than Tasmania, where I grew up, I still don't like being cold. Tasmanian winters were bitingly cold, and I remember when I first moved out of home with my best friend we would wear coats, gloves and scarves around the house because the unit we rented never seemed to get warm enough no matter how high we turned up the heat.
So when it's cold I make soup. Lots of soup! And I love to experiment with different flavours and styles. I love broth based soups, but on a cold winters night I tend to favour a thick vegetable soup, like this Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup. The sweetness of the carrots and sweet potato work well together, and the addition of ginger fills the kitchen with the most wonderful scent when you're making it. But perhaps the best thing of all is the speed at which you can put together this soup. All you need is about 25 minutes, of which perhaps 10 minutes is prep time and the remaining time you can sit down with a glass of wine while the soup bubbles away.
As I was making the soup I was thinking of what to serve with it. A dollop of yoghurt or cream is always a winner, but I wanted something a little different, and this is where the Hazelnut Dukkah came in. What I love about the dukkah, apart from the lovely spices, is the contrast of the smooth thick soup and the crunch of the spices, nuts and seeds. I wasn't quite sure how the dukkah would go down with my fiance, who is a simple man who likes simple foods, but he loved it. The left over dukkah is also great served with olive oil and crusty bread.
If you think carrot soup sounds amazing, but want something a bit simpler, check out my vegan carrot and coriander soup.
So tell me, what is your favourite winter food?
Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Hazelnut Dukkah
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 large brown onion peeled and chopped
- 1 tbs of freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 6 or 7 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 sweet potato peeled and chopped
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- ½ cup of natural Greek yoghurt
- HAZELNUT DUKKAH
- ⅓ cup of hazelnuts
- 1 tbs of sesame seeds
- 2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 2 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1 tsp of fennel seeds
- ½ tsp of sea salt flakes
- Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and once the pan has come to the heat add the olive oil and onion. Sautee the onion until softened before adding the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
- Add the carrot and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes before adding the stock. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until you can easily pierce the carrot with a fork.
- Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. If you like your soups a little runnier add some water or more vegetable stock to thin the mixture out.
- While the soup is simmering make the dukkah. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the hazelnuts. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Set aside to cool for a few minutes before placing in the bowl of a food processor along with the salt flakes. Process until finely crushed, but there is still a bit of texture to it. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- To serve the soup add a dollop of Greek yoghurt and top with the dukkah and serve with crusty bread.
K-bobo @ Gormandize with A-dizzle & K-bobo says
That looks absolutely delicious! I love soup in winter more than words can express!
I made this soup on the weekend and I loved it! I've never made dukkah before but it was so simple and definitely a tasty addition to the soup. I'm looking forward to making some more throughout Winter!
Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. It's so wonderful to hear from people who try my recipes. I am SO glad you enjoyed this soup. The hazelnut dukkah really adds something to it doesn't it. 🙂
Thanks again 😀
loos so smooth, i really wish i loved soup! my family does though so this may just be on the cards....
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I have same love hate relationship with winter too. But when I see a comfort food such as this one, I miss winter even though I was waiting and waiting to have nice California warm weather for months (SF can get really cold in winter)! This carrot & sweet potato soup is so nice. You definitely made me wish to go back to winter. 🙂
I love sweet potato soup, it's so hearty and warming 🙂
Sara (Belly Rumbles) says
Soup is definitely one of my favourite things about winter. My stock making increases 10 fold!
This looks heavenly!!
i like the idea of dukkah here. very creative. I simply love soups. Love them. I love a warm whole grain crusty bread drizzled with olive oil to pair with them. puts me in my happy place. 🙂 I love a Roaster Root Vegetable soup in the winter.
I know what you mean 🙂 I have a love/hate relationship with winter too because I sometimes like the cold and being able to layer up but other times I hate it and just want to wear a t-shirt and eat ice-cream all day long hehe
Katie @Epicurean Mom says
Wonderful recipe Jennifer! I live love love carrot soup!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Jennifer, love the sound of this soup, the dukkah would be gorgeous.
Me too! I am more of the summer person and currently enjoying every bot if it. Having said that , soup is one thing I can have all year long even when it really really warm outside 🙂
Mmm, delicious! I love thick wintery soups, especially sweet potato and chickpea, and hearty stews like butternut squash and bulgur wheat.
Soup is my favourite winter food and I wish I had yours. i am a big fan of the dukkah!
I'm with you: love soup in winter. This one is definitely my kind of soup: love a hot bowl of carrot soup and I believe the addition of sweet potato makes it even more creamier!
Choc Chip Uru says
What an utterly warming and comforting soup - looks delicious 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Sneh | Cook Republic says
OMG the hazelnut dukkah is so simple and so lovely! Thank you! I have been wanting to make my dukkah and this recipe is gorgeous! Brrrr .. it is freezing here and now I am craving soup 🙂 Happy weekend Jen!
Thanks Sneh 😀 I hope you have a great long weekend too.
Debs @ The Spanish Wok says
Great recipe and looks beautiful. Soup if for all seasons as far as we are concerned LOL.
You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.
A marvelous soup! Very appetizing. Sucxh a beautiful color and texture. I love dukkah.
Aunt Clara says
That looks like the kind of soup I could tolerate in a hot summer. I will definitely try that one.
Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef says
I grew up in the northeast of the US in Maine and I'd never live that cold again. I remember winters with snow up to my bedroom window - upstairs, and a sheet of ice over the window glass. I don't miss it one bit. I was cold this morning too and this soup would have made me very happy for lunch.
I really hope we can meet for coffee or cooking one day!
I wouldn't miss that weather either. I don't think I could cope with snow. 🙂 And meeting for a coffee one day would be lovely 😀
Heather L says
This post is very timely... the man of the house is away and my daughter's special request for dinner tonight is some type of vege soup... her favourite meal. And I had even bought a loaf of Turkish bread when I was in town this morning! How serendipitous! Turkish bread with dukkah and soup it is! Perfect for this chilly winter weather... no frosts here yet but they can't be too far off.
My all-time favourite winter food would have to be dhal & rice, I just can't get enough of it when I'm in the mood for comfort food. Although a hearty veg soup would have to come a close second...
Thanks for the inspiration! And fingers crossed that I have some hazelnuts in the pantry!
Heather L (and Lily)
I love a good dhal and rice too Heather 😀 Definitely a wonderful comfort food. I hope you enjoy the soup.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I love carrots and sweet potatoes in soup so this sounds heavenly. Will have to save to make when the cooler months hit!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I'm not much of a soup eater but I must admit this looks pretty soul-warming. I love a stew. Melt-in-your-mouth meat and a heart sauce always wins me over (sorry Jen!). Hazelnut dukkah? I would love to dip some oiled bread in that, yum!
A heart sauce? Wow, you definitely are a meat lover 😀
Love soup in the winter. This looks wonderful!
Thanks Carole 😀