Well, I learnt several things today. As I was cooking this Carrot and Ginger Soup I thought to myself I’m so not going to like this. Hah! I actually do like carrot soup after all. I’ve blathered on about it before, the fact I prefer raw organic carrots as part of crudités. Even though I cook with loads of carrots in stocks for sauces and gravies they’re usually picked out and binned. What a waste of nutrients. Okay, some do enter the stock. And I even managed to eat them mashed with parsnips as part of my Christmas Feast. Whew, that was good going. I’ve always loved carrot cake – only moist though. Proffer me a slice of heavy dry cake of any sort and I’ll heave. Did I spell that with an h or an l? Anyway, I might even attempt baking carrot cake sometime soon. Here, I did cook with a lot of caution. And so glad I did so as I’ve ended up with the perfect consistency. So, like with any good soup, sauce or gravy it’s always best to start off with less spices as it’s easier to add more after, say, puréeing this soup. Which is exactly what I’ve done. And I do think this could be a good base for other ingredients during summer and served chilled as part of a casual lunch to include salad and stuff.
Nearly forgot. This soup is fairly simple and clean tasting, which is how I wanted it. It’s spicy, too. And the orange zest rather than juice really works for my palate, keeping this less sweet. Of course, this could be served with less in the soup and zest served as a garnish, to suit peoples taste. As for the toast, it’s a light rye bread with sunflower seeds that worked especially well dry toasted with a creamy Brie melted on top. Not what I would suggest to go with this particular soup, regardless of how much I liked the melted Brie. It’s just what I had to hand. As this is the first time for me to have carrot soup I can now go of and have those flavours ruminating somewhere far off in that large cranium of mine and hopefully I’ll come up with some ideas for salads and stuff to go with it. And I completely forgot to mention about trying to capture steam earlier on today within the lead-in photo. As the natural light was causing a little bit of sheen idiot here decided to try and block that light from the soup itself. Which works! Really well – if you don’t want steam in your photos that is. Don’t do it! So, enough of learning today as this idiot’s exhausted!
Carrot and Ginger Soup, with a hint of orange zest
- 260g (9.17 oz) weight after preparation x carrots, peeled, trimmed, sliced in half then sliced crossways
- 1 x small onion, about 60g (2.11 oz) in weight after preparation, cut in half, peeled, trimmed and cut again to gain 4 pieces
- 1 x celery stalk, washed, trimmed and cut into about 4 pieces OR alternatively: use half a stalk or stem of broccoli, trimmed and split in half lengthways
- 1/2 x teaspoon freshly grated ginger + 1/2 again for adding to the soup after it’s been puréed
- 1/2 – 1 x organic vegetable stock cube, start off with less and then taste after the soup is cooked and add more if necessary
- 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) x cold water
- 1 x dried bay leaf, split
- pinch x cayenne pepper (I used about 3 pinches), less or more to personal taste
- up to 1/4 x teaspoon freshly grated orange zest + more to personal taste
- seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Add all ingredients, except for the orange zest and seasoning into a large heavy-based saucepan. Put on electric heat No 4 (out of 6) and bring to a boil with a lid on pan. Reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for at least 30 minutes to get the carrots soft enough to be able to blend.
- When carrots are soft enough remove the bay leaf pieces and retain those. Also remove the onion, celery or broccoli stalk if used and discard those. When the soup is cool enough to do so pour into a blender and blitz until absolutely smooth.
- Put back on heat, add the bay leaf pieces and now taste for any extra needed stock, ginger and seasoning. Add a pinch of zest at a time, allow those flavours to infuse, taste again and just keep adding more to personal taste.
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