I hereby decree October as month-of-the-soup. Or at least, tear-my-hair-out-at-all-the -produce-landing-on-my-doorstep-and-winter-is-coming month. Okay, soup month it is. With the leaves turning and falling off, and the first frost already here, I've been airing out my sweaters and winter coat, and trying hard to find a hat to fit my large head. It's sad to see Kay's garden being bedded down for the winter, and to know that soon, the vibrant green lawn is going to covered under a blanket of that fluffy stuff. So in many ways, I've been frantically trying to hold on to the last few days of autumn and the waning daylight hours.
I've found that one of the best ways to preserve our harvest bounty is to soup it up. I've made jars and jars of salsa, tomato sauce, pickles, jams and preserves. So much so, that I've run out of jars and cupboard space, so my eyes fell on the freezer. I freeze a fair bit, mainly beets for soups later on, and butternut squashes, but this time round I decided that soup was where it was at.
So I am all souped up. A delicious leek, fennel and potato soup, sunchoke soup, lots of beet soup, my favourite curried butternut squash soup, and this yummy Moroccan spiced carrot soup - which means that my freezer is pretty full of these warming comfort foods to keep us going through winter. Let's just hope it's not a long one like last year!
Serves 4 - 6
2 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
500g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups vegetable stock (1 litre)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon harissa paste (or hot sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste
Large handful, chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the cumin and caraway seeds. When they sizzle, tip in the chopped onion and celery along with a pinch of salt. Fry on a gentle heat for about 5 - 6 minutes, until softened.
Add the garlic, and saute for a minute. Add the chopped carrots, and fry for another minute.
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring it up to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook the base of the soup gently, for about 30 minutes until the carrots are very soft.
Using a stick or stand blender, puree the soup until creamy. Add the red wine vinegar and the harissa. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the cilantro. Reheat gently to serve.