Friday 17 January 2014

The battle of the carrot soup

I grew up eating very yummy soup made from seemingly nothing by my Mum and my Gran. They both make huge pots out of all the bits in the cupboard and vegetable rack. As a result I can make an acceptable Scotch Broth or lentil soup. The only problem is despite a few master classes it never tastes quite as good to me. My Mum always said the same thing about my Gran's but I never believed her.

Because of this I have a tendency to look for new soup recipes that I have nothing to compare to. At the moment I am enjoying carrots. I have made three carrot soups in the last two weeks with varying success.

The first was carrot and coriander, I roasted the carrots to get a good flavour and mixed them with chopped onion, coriander and beef stock (it should have been chicken stock but I was out). I mixed it in a blender, seasoned and added extra coriander. It was tasty although looked a little muddy because of the stock. I liked the little fresh coriander leaves as a garnish but felt that the soup itself needed more

The second soup was from the Save with Jamie book and was carrot, orange and ginger. I was intrigued as I liked all of the flavours but had not thought of putting them together. In all honesty I wish I hadn’t. The carrots were cooked for a while in a pan with the ingredients before adding water and cooking down.  I think that there may have been an issue with my carrots as they took a very long time to cook and didn’t add much to the taste. I then put it through the blender. It looked bright and vibrant but I was unhappy with the taste. It was like a warm sludgy health drink, the kick of ginger was okay but the orange just did not work in my opinion. Had the carrot taste been stronger and maybe sweeter it may have helped the balance but overall it was a disaster.

Soup number three was roasted sweet potato and carrot with thyme. This one won for me as it was sweet and earthy with a good hit of thyme. I roasted chunks of carrot and sweet potato with thyme, softened onion and garlic and put it all together with some chicken stock. Again I put it through the blender and it made the perfect lunch on a wet and windy day. This is all personal preference but I found it easy and tasty and the sweet potato brought something to the recipe.

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