Brace your taste buds for a delicious, warm and welcoming flavor explosion! This soup recipe from chef Matthew Kenney can be the perfect centerpiece for a light spring lunch, a tantalizing start to dinner, or even a savory breakfast.

Kenney is a celebrated American chef, entrepreneur, author and educator with expertise in plant‐based cuisine. He has written 12 cookbooks and founded the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy, a plant‐based education and wellness business offering courses online and in eight cities worldwide. Food & Wine magazine calls the academy one of the world"s best resources for cooking classes.

5 ½ C carrots, 3‐inch pieces

2 ½ C onion, julienned

1 T olive oil

1 t fennel seeds

½ t black peppercorns

1 t coriander seeds

1 T cumin seeds

1 t caraway seeds

2 t saffron

1 gallon vegetable stock

2 t salt

1 ½ T maple syrup

2 T lemon juice

Sachet

½ bunch thyme

10 dill sprigs

½ bunch parsley stems

For the sachet, wrap all the clean herbs in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Wash, peel and cut carrots. Peel skin off onions, cut them in half and julienne. Heat stockpot on medium‐high and add olive oil. When oil shimmers, add the carrots. Sear carrots on two sides until they are golden brown. Add onions and spices (minus the saffron). Sauté onions until soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, sachet, salt and saffron. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 20–30 minutes. When soup is cooked and carrots are soft, remove sachet and blend the soup in batches until smooth. Whisk in maple syrup, lemon juice and more salt if needed. Garnish with flavored oil and za’atar spice (optional). Serves 8.