Farmers’ market finds
Creamy. Gently spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Cooled with a hint of mint. Fired up with some spicy, garlicky rose harissa. – In short, the best carrot soup ever!
The basic carrot soup recipes comes from the 1977 edition of ‘Mousewood Cookbook’ via Slashfood. I increased the amount of spices, and added the rose harissa and the cheese. Also, I used a mixture of butter and olive oil to cook the onions, because I really like the flavour of this combination. But it’s the harissa that’s the star of the show. It really does transfer the soup to another dimension and gives it soul! Gutsy, interesting, inviting soul. It makes it hot, garlicky, moreish. Rather funky for a carrot soup! I loved it!
Here is something you could do if you don’t have the harissa (I used the Belazu brand.). It’s basically a simple tarka or bhagar with garlic and chilies. Heat some oil and add dried red chilies. Fry for a 10 – 15 second, but be careful not to burn the chilies. Then add the chopped garlic. Remove from the heat and let sizzle. Stir into the soup. – Although it doesn’t reach the complexity of the flavour of a good quality rose harissa, the chili and garlic really do take the soup to an entirely different level.
I found this great website about British carrots. Check it out for some fantastic carrot recipes and fascinating facts.
This is my entry for Eating with the Seasons: DECEMBER. Join me and send me your seasonal recipes by 15 December!
These days, I have very little time to cook, or to take photographs. Or live for that matter! I miss my blog and reading other blogs… A couple of more weeks and I should be back to normal… Fingers crossed.
UPDATE 15/12/2008: I made it with pumkin tonight (and milk instead of yoghurt). It was lovely and creamy. It worked great, too!
And now the famous soup:
Creamy carrot soup with rose
SOURCE: the basic carrot soup recipe is from ‘Mousewood Cookbook’ (1977), via
PREPARATION TIME:10 – 15 min
COOKING TIME: 30 – 40 min
SERVES: 2 (generously)
0.5 kg carrots, peeled and chopped
chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 large yellow onion
3 small cloves of garlic
a small handful of almonds and cashews
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp dried mint
75 ml single cream (or less, according to taste)*
2 tsp rose harissa
salt and pepper
a handful of grated cheese (I used Double Gloucester)
I. Cover the carrots with water and stock and boil until tender.
II. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, then add the onion and a pinch of salt. (The salt will draw out the moisture from the onion and make it cook more quickly). Add chopped garlic and nuts and saute until the onion is soft. When the onion is soft, add nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir and cook for 5 – 10 seconds to give time to the spices to release their flavours. Stir in the mint.
III. Put the onion mixture and carrots into the food processor and blend until smooth. (It’s easier to blend if you retain some cooking water and add it to the soup later on as necessary.)
IV. Return the vegetable puree to the pan, add cream and check for salt. Add water to achieve desired consistency. Stir in the rose harissa and the black pepper and heat through.
V. Fold in some cheese into the soup, and sprinkle the rest on top. Add another pinch of freshly ground black pepper and serve. Enjoy!
Serves two generously for a hearty lunch or dinner.
This is the best soup I’ve ever made, and one of the best ones I’ve ever had. How’s that for a verdict?
*You can also use milk instead of cream. The soup is already rather rich because of the addition of nuts and cheese.
The soup lends itself to lots of variations. For example, you can use different types of nuts to add richness. Different dairy products instead of cream. You can also play with different spice combinations.
Also, I really like the idea of adding a tarka to perk up the flavours of soups!
Other soups at Maninas: