3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds (5 cups) carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices *
1 large (16 ounces) yam, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium (1 cup) onion, cut into eighths
4 cloves fresh garlic
3 (14-ounce) vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves**
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs, if desired
Heat oven to 350°F. Brush 15x10x1-inch baking pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Place carrots, yam, onion and garlic in pan. Toss with remaining olive oil. Bake 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
Place half of vegetable mixture, half of vegetable broth and 1/2 cup half & half in 5-cup blender container. Cover; process until smooth. Pour mixture into 4-quart saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetable mixture, vegetable broth and half & half.
Stir in 1 tablespoon chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes or until soup is heated through.
To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls; garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, if desired.
*Substitute 2 (1-pound) packages baby carrots.
**Substitute 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves.
This soup can also be served cold or at room temperature.