This simple soup is good any time of the year. For a romantic dinner, top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream (dairy or non-dairy) garnish with a carrot heart. (see pictures)
Peel and chop 1 onion. Peel and coarsely chop 3 lbs. carrots, reserving 1/2 carrot. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion to the hot oil and saute about 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Add carrots, 6 cups vegetable broth, minced garlic, 1 TB sweet curry powder or garam masala, 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika, and, if desired, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 25-35 minutes, until carrots are fork tender. Check seasonings and adjust according to your taste.
With the reserved carrot, cut a v-shape length-wise into the top of the carrot (the center of your heart). Pare the lower sides to a point, to create a heart when you view the carrot from the end. Slice hearts width-wise off the carrot for garnish (also nice in a sweet salad).
Puree the soup. Ladle into bowls. Place a dollop of sour cream (dairy or non-dairy) or yogurt in the center of the bowl. Using a fork, insert the tines halfway into the sour cream dollop, making sure your fork is in contact with the soup. Draw a heart through the sour cream. Serve and enjoy!