Portion/Yield:Serves 6 as a starter or light lunch
Carrots are humble vegetables of the earth that are common all over the world. Using heritage carrots when making something as simple as a carrot soup adds a different dimension to this popular recipe. Using very fresh or freshly dug carrots gives a more intense and pure carrot flavour. If you can’t lay your hands on these funky carrots, then use standard fresh carrots instead.
Ingredients & Method
- 1kg orange heritage carrots, trimmed and washed (peel left on)
- 1 purple heritage carrot (80–100g), trimmed and peeled
- 1 yellow heritage carrot (80–100g), trimmed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil, plus extra for the garnish
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 banana shallots, sliced
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- a little chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and line 2 baking trays (one of which should be large) with non-stick baking paper. Set aside. Cut the prepared orange carrots into 5mm slices/rings. Cut the prepared purple and yellow carrots into 5mm slices/rings and set aside.
Spread the orange carrot slices out on the prepared large baking tray, add 1 tablespoon of the rapeseed oil and salt and pepper and stir to mix, then roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until the carrots are very soft and golden, stirring once or twice to prevent them from burning (at the end of the cooking time, if there are a few dark carrots, that’s absolutely fine). At the same time, toss the purple and yellow carrot slices in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt and pepper, then spread them out on the second prepared baking tray. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, then add the garlic cloves and roast for a further 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft and golden. Remove both trays of roasted carrots from the oven, set aside and keep hot.
Meanwhile, just before the carrots are ready, melt the butter in a large saucepan and once it starts to foam, add the shallots and sauté over a high heat for 5–6 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. Add the coriander seeds and sauté for 1 minute, then add the roasted orange carrots. Pop the roasted garlic flesh out of its skin, add to the pan and sauté for a further minute. Add the stock and bring the soup to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat, then carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and if the soup is a bit too thick for your liking, add a little more stock or water. Reheat gently until hot, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
To serve, ladle the hot soup into soup bowls and garnish each portion with the roasted purple and yellow carrot slices, a drizzle of rapeseed oil and a sprinkling of flat-leaf parsley and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread or warm herb scones, such as Summer Savory Scones.