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Carrot and pomegranate soup

Time1 hour 45 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6
Carrot and pomegranate soup
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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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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1

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.

2

Add 3 cups of stock and simmer, covered, until the carrots are very tender, about an hour. Take off the heat and let cool.

3

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.

4

Return to the burner and heat through until hot. Season with salt and pepper.

5

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.

Pomegranate molasses can be purchased at Middle Eastern markets or well-stocked supermarkets.