Carrots are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food. Cut into disks, they represent the golden coins that signify abundance for the new year; their Hebrew name, mer’n, means more or many.
Cooked slowly with onions, vegetable stock, cumin and pomegranate molasses, the carrots become a rich burnished orange. Pureed smooth and served with a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds, a drizzle of more pomegranate molasses, the soup has a richness of flavor as well as color. The sweetness is there, but balanced, leavened by the faint note of cumin and the tang of the pomegranate.
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Heat the olive oil over moderate heat in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add the onion, carrots, pomegranate molasses and cumin. Cover the pot and lower the heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 3 cups of stock and simmer, covered, until the carrots are very tender, about an hour. Take off the heat and let cool.
Puree, in batches if necessary, in a blender, adding the final cup of stock. The puree should be very smooth; if it isn’t, you may want to pour the soup through a strainer.
Return to the burner and heat through until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into soup plates, spooning extra pomegranate molasses around the center (about one-half teaspoon per bowl) and sprinkling with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.
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