Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Put the carrots, half the oil, the garlic
and thyme in a roasting tin. Season and
toss everything together. Pop in the oven
and roast for 45-50 mins, or until tender
and beginning to turn golden.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil
and butter in a large saucepan. Tip in
the onions and cook over a low heat for
10 mins until soft. When the carrots are
done, remove from the oven. Squeeze
the soft roasted garlic cloves out of their
skins and pop in the saucepan. Tip in the
carrots and discard any woody thyme
stalks. Pour over the stock, bring to the
boil, then simmer for 10 mins.
To make the croutons, wrap the
pancetta around the soldiers, leaving
the ends of the bread exposed. Put on
a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and
grind over some black pepper. Bake for
10 mins until the pancetta and bread
edges are crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
While the croutons are cooking, blitz
the soup with a hand blender, then sieve
into a clean saucepan, pressing to get
as much liquid through as possible. Add
5 tbsp of the cream, heat through and
season. Adjust the thickness with a little
water, if you like. You can chill the soup
for up to 1 day at this point, or freeze for
2 months. Reheat before serving. Serve
drizzled with the remaining cream and
garnished with thyme, with the croutons.