We’ve been good at eating our lunches at home, eating out on the mountain is expensive. We’ve also been good at not relying too heavily on high carb and fats for lunches (read a chunk of baguette with an appropriate slab of cheese). So soups are de rigueur.
There have been plenty of mixed veggie soups and broths, lentil-daal soups, the other day saw a green soup of sprouts and spinach, today we are orange in colour.
But firstly a word about carrots, for some unearthly reason we bought carrots from the supermarket. Mistake! We are not good at supermarket shopping, we usually avoid them like the plague at home, besides we grow lots of our own veggies, including carrots. What I’m getting round to saying is that these carrots have such a high water content and low flavour content. It’s been a reminder for us as to how delicious home-grown carrots are, and not to buy them from the supermarket again. If we really want carrots then we have to go to a better shop, which sells organic and heritage varieties that have been grown for their flavour and not their looks, uniformity and shelf-life. Yes they will cost more, yes there is a car journey involved. But the taste test is everything to me.
So what to do with tasteless carrots, soup was in my mind, but I knew if I just cooked them up in some vegetable stock the carrots would still be flavourless. So I needed to add flavour, and by roasting, or if you don’t want to put the oven on, pan frying them slowly with a teeny amount of olive oil or butter will get some flavour into them.
I love roasted veggies, particularly carrots and celery, together with a knob of butter and a grind of black pepper. And this soup reminds my of those flavours, slightly sweet and aromatic. And now I’ve thought of this when I next go shopping I want to see if there are any decent celery, not that hot-house hydroponic stuff that has less flavour than a glass of water, but the good deep green kind, with evidence of once having been grown in soil.
It seems I’m having a gingery few days what with Gingery Brussels Sprouts and now this soup.
Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup
The recipe bit ~
Makes 4 small portions
- 250g of carrots about 3-4 large carrots, topped and tailed, and cut into long chunks for roasting
- 1 tbls of olive oil
- 1 shallot, peeled, and sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
- A 1 to 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- Approx 1/2 litre of vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- A few coriander leaves for a garnish
The how to cook bit ~
- Put the carrots into an ovendish with the olive oil, make sure they are lightly coated. Cover them with a lid or some tinfoil.
- Cook them on a medium to high oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. They should be soft, and have a deeper colour, slightly browned is ok.
- Alternatively pan fry the carrots on a low heat for about 20 minutes until they are soft and have browned around the edges
- When the carrots are cooked, put them into a pan on the stove, along with the garlic, ginger and shallots and fry them for a few minutes until the other vegetables are cooked
- Add the vegetable stock and bring it to a simmer. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- I have a stick blender, so I whizz the soup mixture up in the pan, until everything has been “whizzed” and the soup is smooth.
- Check the seasonings, and adjust.
- When ready to serve chop a few coriander leaves and sprinkle them on top.
The Gardening Bit ~
I love growing carrots, there are so many wonderful varieties out there, different colours from deep purples, orange-reds, pale oranges, and yellows, and whites. Let alone shapes, from short stubby ones to long slender, and fat ones. There are carrots for different seasons – earlies, summer and lates. Then there are the flavours, now I am no expert, they are all good to me! And as I’m still sorting my seed order for this year Touchon and Mokum will be on the list as will Yellowstone and Jaune Obtuse de Doubs, and Lunar White, Cosmic Purple sounds fun too and D’Eysines, a short stubby variety sounds like it would be good to grow as an inter-crop and a companion to the garlic – it should be able to cope with my heavy soil and will hopefully avoid any carrot fly problems grown alongside the alliums. The rest of the carrots will be grown in boxes, with a high sand content, that have proved, so far, a successful way of growing nice long carrots that don’t suffer from carrot fly damage.