A simple carrot soup with its sweet, earthy flavour and cheerful colour is great for winter lunches. Carrots are often the only vegetables that kids will eat, so this soup is also good for getting some nutrients into them with a few hidden extra veggies.
Carrot soup can also be spiced up for adults with a variety of extra flavours; it makes a perfect partnership with fresh and ground coriander, gets some extra kick from fresh ginger root and works well in combination with other vegetables like leeks and potatoes. Consider this as a basic carrot soup recipe and add in vegetables and spices that take your fancy or see suggestions for variations at the end.
Recipe for Carrot Soup
1 onion, sliced
450g / 1lb carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stick celery, chopped
25g / 1oz butter or 2 tablespoons oil
1.2 litres / 2pints vegetable stock
salt and pepper
parsley to garnish
Heat the oil or butter in a large pan and stir in the onions, celery and carrots. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables over a medium heat until they are starting to soften.
Season with salt and pepper and stir.
Add the stock and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Liquidize in a food processor or blender to a smooth soup.
Taste to check for seasoning.
Serve garnished with chopped parsley.
Carrot and Coriander soup: add 1 teaspoon of ground coriander with the salt and pepper. Stir in 1 bunch of chopped fresh coriander after the soup has been liquidized.
Carrot and Ginger soup: Peel and grate 2.5cm/1 inch fresh ginger root and crush one clove of garlic. Cook with the vegetables. Serve with a swirl of natural yoghurt and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Carrot, Leek and Potato soup: Add 3-4 leeks and 2 medium potatoes to this recipe and cook with the other vegetables for a slightly thicker and more savoury soup.
Spiced Carrot and Lentil soup: Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 chopped red chilli to the vegetables. When the vegetables have softened add 140g split red lentils and stir in before adding stock. Serve with a swirl of yoghurt and a sprinkling of toasted cumin seeds.
Feel like a warm winter lunch that you don’t have to cook yourself? Try the tempting selection of lunch dishes at Belle and Jerome restaurant in Nottingham.