In a heavy bottom pot, saute onion, cumin seeds and smashed garlic in oil, on medium high heat until golden and tender, about 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Add carrots, chicken stock, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and bring to a vigorous simmer. Cover and simmer on med low heat for 20 minutes or until carrots are easily pierced with the tip of a knife. While this is simmering make the Chermoula.
Let cool slightly.
Blend using an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender until silky smooth.
Place back in the pot and stir in sour cream and maple syrup. Adjust salt and spice level. (Keeping in mind Chermoula will a LOT of flavor.) Keep warm on low heat until serving.
Divide among bowls, and add a spoonful of chermoula, swirling it in a circle. Add more yogurt or sour cream if you like.
To make chermoula, toast the spices in dry skillet over medium until fragrant and golden. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined into a paste, but not too smooth. Set aside in a bowl.
Of course you can use ground spices instead of whole seeds, but the toasted whole seeds will add that extra level of flavor that will wow your taste buds.
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