Carrot soup is a good winter warmer which is quick and easy to make. You can substitute the vegetable stock with chicken stock if you have some homemade stock in the freezer.
To make a good vegetable stock you need a large onion, sliced, a few whole cloves, about 12 whole black peppercorns, some mixed herbs, a bay leaf, torn a little but still intact, a little grated nutmeg which is optional and two celery stalks, cut in half thorough the middle. You can add a peeled, quartered carrot too, although this is carrot soup so it isn't necessary for this soup. However if you want a vegetable stock for another recipe, add the carrot or maybe two. Pour in water to cover (about a litre) add salt to taste and bring to the boil. Remove any scum which comes to the top and then turn down the heat, partially cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes or an hour. Strain the stock before using it.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
- 1 lb carrots, scraped and sliced
- 1 large onion sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
- 2 pints vegetable stock
- handful of fresh coriander leaves or flat-leaved parsley
- salt and freshly ground black peppercorns
Heat the oils in a large pan and add the onion, carrots and garlic, and sauté, stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes until the onion is beginning to be translucent.
Stir in the crushed coriander seeds and fry for a further minute.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat so that the liquid is simmering, partially cover the pan and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add the salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Blend the soup, then pour back into the saucepan and reheat with the torn coriander or parsley leaves.
Serve with onion bread or crusty rolls.
You can add cream to this when you blend the soup for a creamy carrot soup, and if you want a spicy carrot soup, with or without the cream, you can add your favourite curry powder mix to the carrots and onions when you fry them. Pour the stock onto the mixture slowly, stirring well to make sure there are no lumps.
You can also add broccoli to this soup for a different flavour, but cook it separately and add it when blending the carrot soup.
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