- 6 large fresh thyme sprigs
- 5 whole star anise, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
- 2 1-pound bags peeled baby carrots
- 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, 3 star anise, bay leaves, and garlic. Sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and broth. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove and discard thyme sprigs, star anise, and bay leaves. Working in small batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth; return to same pot. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill. Rewarm over low heat before continuing.
Finely grind remaining star anise in spice mill or coffee grinder. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with ground star anise.