Carrot - Ginger Soup with Coconut milk

5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 leek, chopped (dark green parts removed)
1 medium potato, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 inches ginger root, finely minced (about 2 tbsp)
1 can coconut milk (for a dairy version, substitute half and half or whipping cream)
4 cups stock or water
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat vegetable oil in a medium-sized pot. Add onions, sauté about 2 minutes. Add leeks and garlic; sauté in pot for about 4-5 minutes until softened, but not browned.

Add carrots; stir vegetable mixture until carrots begin to carmelize a bit, about 6 more minutes (watch to prevent over-cooking).

Add potato, ginger, stock, and coconut milk ; allow mixture to come to a boil for about 5 minutes; reduce heat and add spices (turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper).

Cover and simmer on low until potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Puree soup in batches in the blender, or use a hand-held blending appliance to obtain a smooth, velvety textured soup.

Garnish soup with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).