grub, green issues and gays

Carrot etc soup

Carrot etc soup

You know how it goes – it’s Boxing Day, you’ve eaten and drunk far too much, and you want something that feels at least a little bit healthy, compared to all the cake and booze you had yesterday. You also bought WAY too much veg for Christmas dinner, thanks to the 25p-a-bag offers they had on in all the supermarkets this year.

Fear not! This is the Carrots Etc. soup recipe – most root veg can be added or substituted according to taste. It creates a thick, rich soup that will easily serve 6, along with a couple of slices of crusty bread. Takes about 40 mins overall.

Ingredients:

1/2 bag carrots (usually around 500g)
2 small onions, or one big one
Dried mixed herbs
Dried cumin
Garlic paste (or two cloves minced garlic)
3 or 4 parsnips
1L vegetable stock (I use bouillon powder)
1 tablespoon brown miso paste
Wholegrain mustard
Creme fraiche or greek yoghurt, to taste (you can leave this out if you want a vegan soup)

Get a nice big soup pot (I have a really old one my nan gave to me, as she was adamant it couldn’t be used on an electric hob. I use it on an electric hob, and no-one’s died so far. It’s cast-iron and weighs a ton) and stick some of your favourite light oil in the bottom (I use coconut oil from a tub). Turn the hob on to a medium heat, and chop your onions.

Add the onions to the pot and leave them to brown a bit, while you chop up your carrots and parsnips. These don’t have to be small and neat, they’re going to get blended down in the end. Throw in a teaspoonful of the dried herbs, one of the dried cumin, and a couple of teaspoons of garlic paste (you can find this by the tomato puree. It’s great if, like me, you can’t be arsed with peeling garlic). Give everything a good stir to coat it in the oil and herbs, and leave to cook for about 10 minutes.

While this is cooking, stick the kettle on for your stock. I use the Swiss Bouillon powder that can be found in any supermarket, it’s cheap and tasty. I also add in a tablespoon of brown miso paste – this comes in jars and can be a bit harder to find, but you may be able to get it in the World Foods section of larger shops. Otherwise, it’s a trip to the health food shop, I’m afraid – it’s worth it, though. Miso is delicious and livens up any soup, casserole or stock, and it lasts for ages in the fridge. Make up a litre of stock, stir it all to combine, then add to your vegetables. Add a big teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and stir it all to combine.

Put the lid on with room for the steam to vent, turn the heat down to low, and leave for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the carrots are soft enough to cut with a spoon, take the whole lot off the heat. I use a stick blender, in the pot, to whizz everything up and make it smooth. You’ll find the soup thickens nicely as you blend it. If you don’t have a hand blender, you could also use a potato masher – good for working out rage, too.

Ladle into bowls and add a spoon of greek yoghurt or creme fraiche. Serve with crusty buttered bread, and enjoy all that lovely vitamin C!

 



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