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Author Notes: This is an Omani soup, a lightly spiced blend of sweet veggies. Lots of Middle Eastern soups use oats as a thickener, which gives a nutty undertone and a creamy texture. I fried up some carrot shavings for a fun, crispy garnish. —witchykitchen
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 fennel bulbs, sliced
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- salt to taste
For the garnish
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- vegetable oil for frying
- chopped fennel fronds
- In a large pot, heat butter/ghee and saute onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add fennel and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or so until fennel is softened and beginning to carmelize. Add carom seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds and stir for a minute, add turmeric powder and red chili powder and stir for a minute more, being careful not to burn.
- Add carrots, oats, and 2 cups of the chicken broth. Stir well, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer, covered, until carrots are very soft. Puree in a blender and return to the pot. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth, salt to taste, and heat back through.
- For the garnish: shave the carrot with a peeler. Heat a half inch or so of oil in a pan to medium high to shallow fry. Fry the carrot in batches; it will be very bubbly until most of the water is released. Just as the bubbles slow and it starts to turn golden, remove to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool. Serve the soup hot, garnished with crispy carrots and chopped fennel fronds.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Middle Eastern Recipe