February 13th, 2010

Roasted Heritage Carrot Soup

I do not often get the chance to visit London. I miss it and sometimes regret moving to the country, well you can’t have it all. When I do get the chance to go, I normally have a list of things to do, places to visit and supplies to collect along the way.

Last Saturday was no different to my usual ritual when visiting London. Our first stop was Borough market, we arrived just after 9am. First attraction was Monmouth Coffee, you can’t beat the service, coffee and ambiance. I can simply sit there for hours watching the world go by. All walks of life pass through Monmouth,from old, young, market stall holders, rich toffee nose business men, yummy mummy’s to simply Joe blogs and me.

Armed with my shopping list and camera I set off on my rounds,I had to purchase Ras-el-Hanout from the Arabic food company, bread from Rhodes, Chorizo and smoked paprika form Brindisa and Cheese from Mons. Whilst picking up all my goodies and ticking them off my list I have one eye firmly on all the stalls for new season delights such as forced rhubarb, blood oranges and yippe there they were these glorious looking heritage carrots. They caught my eye and I was intrigued. They are organic and therefore not the prettiest carrots on the market but thats what gets me going. They looked rather odd, some were golden yellow, some the standard orange colour and then a few purple ones. These are not completely purple all the away through as the centre is still orange but it’s different and interesting enough for me.

After the visit to Borough market we set off to Portobello Market to visit their British Root Vegetable Festival. We had a quick stop at the Whole Foods Market on High Street Kensington to get short beef ribs, which for some bizarre reason I cannot find anywhere else.Then it was time to head home.

The journey home normally consists of a reflection of how the day went, what the most interesting foodie items were and writing a list of recipes and dishes that we are going to cook the following day.

It’s a  full day trip and a really enjoyable experience every time we want to go to London but we love it. The following day normally is one of  frantic activity,at first cooking and baking, then devouring and enjoying the fabulous food that we found the previous day. This roasted heritage carrot soup was just the perfect dish to soothe tired bodies and sore feet.

Roasted Carrot Soup

  • 1kg orange heritage carrots, washed and tops removed
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil + extra for garnish
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5L of vegetable stock
  • 1 purple heritage carrot, peeled
  • 1 yellow heritage carrot, peeled
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 200 °C and line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Top and wash the orange heritage carrots carrots, keep the skin on and cut them into 1cm pieces. Wash and peel the purple and yellow carrots, slice them into 1/2 thick rings.

Spread the orange carrots on one of the two the lined baking trays, add 3/4's of the the oil, salt and pepper, mix and roast the carrots in the preheated oven for 1hour. Check the carrots towards the end and stir them to prevent them from burning. If there are a few dark ones it's absolutely fine just like mine in the picture above. Toss the purple and yellow carrots in the rest of the oil, season them with salt and pepper and spread them on the second lined tray, roast them for 40minutes, stir them occasionally to prevent them from burning.

Add the whole garlic cloves for the last 20 minutes of the carrot roasting time.

While the carrots and garlic are roasting start to make the base of the soup.

Heat a large saucepan with the butter, once it starts to foam, add the sliced shallot and saute them until they start to turn golden brown.

Add the coriander seeds and fry them for 1 minute, add the roasted orange carrots. Pop the roasted garlic flesh out of their skins and add to the soup, saute for a further 1 minute.

Add the stock and bring the soup to a gentle simmer, cook for 10 minutes.

Puree the soup until smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

To serve bring the soup back to the boil, if the soup is too thick, then let it down with vegetable stock or a dash of water.

Serve the soup in warm soup bowls, garnish with the roasted yellow and purple carrots, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and scatter flatleaf parsley and grind a dash of black pepper over the soup.

Serves 6


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15 Comments to “Roasted Heritage Carrot Soup”

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  1. Helen says:

    This soup is lovely, will definitely be one I’ll be making regularly! I added a generous glug of orange juice as well once I’d blended it, really complimented it all well!

  2. Žiu says:

    Wow! What a beautiful story, what a beautiful soup!

    I have moved to London a few months ago and feel so keen to expore those places! However, none of my friends is into it at all, and my boyfriend frowns everytime I suggest visiting a foody place like this. I’ve noticed you use ‘we’ in your post and felt really jelous having someone to share this passion with.. Lucky you!

    I love your blog!

  3. Sounds like a productive day in London! I last had purple heritage carrots when I went to a little market near the flat of a good friend I was staying with in Paris. They are visually fun but also taste delicious. Shall have to snaffle a few from Borough while they’re in season :-)

  4. Sarah says:

    I don’t usually like creme soups with the exception of carrot, Lovely first photograph, such a rich and beautiful color. I just made carrot fritters and added ground coriander to the labneh sauce I served with it, a very nice combination.

  5. I have two carrot soups on my blog, which I was so proud of ….that is until I saw this. I am sooooo taken with the purple rimmed carrots and the way you plated this dish. What is it about carrot soup that makes me feel “that everything will be okay.” Maybe it’s the sturdiness and security of an old fashioned root vegetable.

    What is a “banana” shallot?” When you say Whole Foods, do you mean the USA based Whole Foods? I know that here it’s the only place I see short ribs also. I live in Nashville. I would love to visit London sometime.

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