This carrot-top pesto has an earthy flavour and makes perfect sense served on the soup.
1.5 kgcarrots, coarsely choppedFinelygrated rind and juice of 1½ lemons, or to taste110 mlolive oil1onion, finely chopped2garlic cloves, finely chopped1 tspdried red chilli flakes1 litre(4 cups) chicken stock2thyme sprigs1 bunchDutch carrots, trimmed, tops reserved for pestoCarrot-top pesto¾ cup(firmly packed) carrot tops (as above)½ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley50 gmpistachios50 gmparmesan, finely grated2garlic clovesFinelygrated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½ 120 mlextra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200C. Combine carrots, two-thirds of the lemon rind and 50ml oil in large bowl, season to taste and stir to coat. Spread in a single layer on baking trays lined with baking paper and roast, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until tender and browned on edges (1¼-1½ hours). Set aside.
For carrot-top pesto, process ingredients except juice and oil in a food processor until coarsely chopped then, with motor running, add oil in a steady stream and process to a fine purée. Season to taste and set aside. Just before serving stir in lemon juice to taste.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic and chilli and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add stock, thyme, roast carrots and 50ml water, bring to the simmer and cook until carrots are well flavoured and very tender (15-20 minutes), then discard thyme. Purée with a hand-held blender until smooth, add lemon juice to taste and keep warm.
Meanwhile, combine Dutch carrots in a bowl with remaining lemon rind and remaining oil, season to taste and stir to coat. Spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast until browned and tender (20-25 minutes). Serve piled on top of soup and drizzled with carrot-top pesto.