Thursday's Soup of the Day is a real winter-warmer.
We have had a really good crop of carrots this year and let’s face it; they are a greatly valued and sometimes underrated but well-liked vegetable. They have been around since the 1400s, well in England anyway, longer in some countries. You can read all about these little orange beauties whilst you enjoy your soup by clicking here for The Carrot Museum (yes, that's right - the carrot museum.)
Chef’s gone all metric today so if you don’t do metric, you’ll need to convert the amounts. Chef always makes twice as much soup as we normally do, especially of this one as he loves it with Naan bread and has been known to add a little chilli to the bread too.
So, in comes Chef with a bucket full of our home-grown organic carrots. We grow Autumn King and Chanteney and this bucket was full of Autumn King. In the role of Veg. Chef I started to wash and peel them. Chef’s knife skills are, well a bit scary actually, and very soon there was a good heap of chopped carrots, ready and waiting. A kilogram was required and a kilogram we had (that’s about 2lbs 4 oz for the Imperial fans.) The knife then sliced into five celery sticks followed by a large onion.
The veg-heaps looked very pretty, one green, one white and one orange.
A large pan had a good slug of vegetable oil glooped into it and put on the heat to warm. In went the onion closely followed by three crushed garlic cloves (I didn’t see that coming.) This sizzled away for a while and then came the fun part – Tabasco.
Three or four teaspoons (that’s a good tablespoon) of the hot, red liquid was added closely followed by a tablespoon (or three teaspoons) of Mustard powder.
In one swift move the pan was whisked from the heat and the lid slammed on. Apparently if you don’t do that you get mustard vapour in your eyes and it really hurts.
After a minute or two the lid was removed and the carrots and celery heaped into the pan closely followed by two litres (about three-and-a-half pints) of vegetable stock. As you may know, here at Fancy Pants we keep a stock of stock in the fridge, but if you don’t (you might have more interesting things in your fridge like wine and chocolate) you can of course buy some ready-made or pour boiling water onto a vegetable stock cube. We then left le mélange to simmer for about twenty or thirty minutes – time for a nice cup-of coffee and some home-made flapjack. When the soup had bubbled for long enough and I was tired of “when shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?” every time I stirred it, I took the largest hand blender we have and proceeded to joosh the soop. Chef did the tasting, and adjusted the seasoning (that means salt) so that it was just flawless – absolutely flawless.
So there you have it – Spicy Carrot Soup – enjoy with some gorgeous Naan bread which you can either buy or make yourself. You can see Master Baker Paul Hollywood's recipe here.
Vegetable oil – 3 or 4 tablespoons
2 kg carrots (or 2¼lbs or 36 oz)
5 sticks of celery
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 litres (3½ pints) vegetable stock
3 or 4 teaspoons Tabasco (15 – 20 ml)
3 teaspoons mustard powder