Cashews make this vegan carrot soup creamy. Spices make it wonderful.
Carrots love spice. And they can handle a good dose of it: One of my favorite treatments is to sprinkle them with an assortment of warming, perhaps smoky, sometimes even hot spices before roasting, and then drizzle them with a little honey for sweetness and citrus for balancing tartness. Delicious.
Those same carrots take well to blending, too. Just last week, I had an oversupply, so after a few days of eating them in bowls and alongside mains, I remembered just how much I loved the carrot hummus from the "River Cottage Veg" book a few years back, so I pureed them with chickpeas and tahini. It extended their usefulness by almost another week.
Puree them with even more liquid, naturally, and you've got a lovely soup. Add cashews and a little nondairy milk, the way Aran Goyoaga does in her new book, and the soup is silky and vegan. This recipe doesn't employ - or need - honey or sugar, but allows the natural sweetness of the carrots to carry that side of the balance sheet.
My only adjustment was to increase the cashews - not the ones that go in the soup, but that ones that go on top for serving. As much as I like a creamy soup, especially one with all these flavors, a little crunch in every bite makes it even better.