This roasted carrot apple soup is like a big hug - warm, comforting, and nourishing for the body and soul. Be sure to roast the carrots, even though it's tempting to skip that step. They bring a hint of smokiness and depth of flavor that really makes this soup shine. This serves four as a main course or six as an appetizer.
Heat the oven to 425*. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Peel and slice the carrots, then toss in one tablespoon of oil. Spread the carrot slices evenly onto a baking sheet. Roast, flipping once halfway through, for 20-25 minutes until soft and caramelized.
Heat a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, toss to coat in the fat, then cover and sweat the onions, stirring occasionally, until they're soft and lightly browned, 10 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium. Add the apples and celery and saute, stirring often, until the apples are soft and starting to brown, 6-7 minutes.
Transfer the roasted carrots to the dutch oven, and add enough broth to cover the vegetables by at least half an inch, and up to a full inch (about 4 cups). Top with the thyme sprig and season with salt and pepper.
Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil; then reduce to low and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft and the thyme leaves are falling off.
Remove the soup from heat and fish out the thyme stems. Blend until completely smooth using an immersion blender. Add a little water or broth to thin the soup if it’s too thick. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with olive oil, chopped pecans, and fresh thyme. Serve immediately. This soup keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Substitute vegetable broth to make this recipe vegan/vegetarian.
You can either peel the apples or leave the unpeeled. I've tried it both ways, and they both work perfectly!