Warming Carrot Soup
This easy to make (simple), homemade, creamy Carrot Soup recipe warms the soul during the colder nights. Pair with vegetable crisps for an adventurous twist on a classic meal.
It is a quick alternative to a ready-made option can be spiced up by adding turmeric, ginger, sage or coriander to flavour, or try adding a touch of coconut milk to create a heartier version of this classic winter carrot dish.
- Fresh sage leaves – two or three per bowl (optional) (1)
- 1 medium onion (around 75-100g)
- 4-5 medium carrots (around 400g) (3)
- 1 medium potato (around 150g)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root (optional)
- 1 litre vegan stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp oil for frying (2)
- To make the crispy sage leaves, warm the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the sage leaves briefly, then transfer onto a clean dry kitchen towel to drain and crisp up. Leave the sage-infused oil in the pan.
- Peel and roughly chop the onions. Fry in the oil for 2 minutes.
- Peel (see note) and chop the carrots and potato into small pieces (1-2cm), add to the pan, stir well and fry gently for 5 minutes.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic, add to the pan with ginger and/or turmeric if using. Stir to mix well, cook for a further minute, then pour over the vegan stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Cool and then liquidise with a stick blender or using a food processor. Add more water if the soup seems too thick.
- Reheat, season with salt and pepper according to your personal taste, and serve in starter sized portions, decorated with crispy sage leaves.
Any left-over soup will keep in the fridge for a few days and can be re-heated. It can also be frozen. In fact, if you’ve ended up with a lot of spare carrots, you could double up the quantities and freeze some soup ready for another wintery day.
(1) The sage leaves have to be fresh – dried leaves won’t work here. If, instead of buying a few sprigs of sage in a plastic packet, you can invest in a small pot of growing sage, you can plant it in your garden or in an outdoor pot and it will probably grow like crazy and last for many years.
(2) Oil of your choice – use whatever you have. Coconut oil or vegetable oil would be fine. If you have good quality olive oil, save it for dressing salads and raw foods.
(3) Some people peel carrots and potatoes, others scrub them and eat the skins. Either is fine here as long as the skins are clean – you don’t want grit in your soup. Even if you decide to peel, give the veg a scrub first – that way, the peelings can go into a box in the freezer to be converted into a vegetable stock when you’ve collected enough. Or have a go at making vegetable crisps – maybe you could serve these alongside the soup.
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Make sure your vegetables are nice and clean and peel them thinly.
- Pat the peelings dry with a clean kitchen towel and put them into a large bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and your choice of flavourings – salt and pepper, some dried herbs, maybe some smoked paprika, ground cumin or dried garlic granules. Don’t go overboard – the crisps will be thin and light, and they are easily overpowered by seasonings.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper (optional, but it stops the peelings from sticking to the tray).
- Mix the peelings and seasonings well and spread over the baking tray. Make sure they are in a single layer, not piled up, otherwise they will steam instead of crisping up.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, keeping a close eye on them and mixing them up half way through the time.
- When they are golden brown, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool and crisp up.
Carrot soup and vegetable crisps is the perfect option for a healthy, low cost, vegan meal that contains all the ingredients commonly found in a kitchen, with the option of customising the recipe to suit what is already in the cupboards.
Recipe development Jane Hughes
Home economist Jo Brewer
Photographer Chris Leah