Roast carrot soup with sesame salt

I discovered this sesame salt a few years ago when I was doing some research on Korean cooking. I came across a recipe for a simmered chicken that was served with the salt. It was delicious–delicious on the chicken, delicious on green vegetables and delicious sprinkled over steamed rice. Needless to say, whenever I make it, I always make a double batch.

This is a very simple carrot soup that is sweetened and enriched by roasting the vegetables first–although it’s the sesame salt that really takes this soup to a new level. I’ve used carrots here, but the recipe would work just as well with roast pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 leek, white part only, rinsed and cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves

Sesame Salt

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Put the carrot, leek and garlic cloves in a roasting tin. Add the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 1½ hours.

Meanwhile, to make the sesame salt, put the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds start to turn golden brown. Transfer the seeds to a mortar and pestle and add the salt. Work the sesame seeds and salt together until the seeds are slightly broken down.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer to a food processor. Blend until smooth, then tip the carrot purée into a saucepan and add the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring to combine.

Ladle the carrot soup into four bowls. Sprinkle with the sesame salt and coriander leaves.