Thursday, 7 November 2013

I Accidentally Bought Four and a Half Kilos of Carrots.

Yesterday my Tesco shop arrived and it contained three 1.5 kg bags of everyday value carrots. 

Moral of the story:
 If you're doing an online Tesco shop and you're buying vegetables and you choose "3" and add them to the basket, make sure you're buying individual vegetables and not multipack bags...

Also the lighting in my new kitchen is awful, so please excuse the photos...
Anyway, I had to find something to do with all of these carrots, so I made Carrot and Cider soup. This was an experimental recipe - I added things I thought would work as I was going along, and it turned out pretty well. I was impressed by the cider - usually for soups I use wine but this added an extra layer of flavour. Also this recipe makes a massive quantity because I have so many carrots to use up. This would probably feed about four people. If you have leftovers, just freeze them...

One note about the method - you need a hand blender. I recently bought one of these for myself and they're definitely worth having on hand for soups and smoothies. Soups are so cheap and simple that they make perfect student food. You chop the stuff up, you boil the stuff in stock, you add some flavouring and then you zap it with a hand blender. What could be simpler? And you can buy a hand blender for less than a fiver from Argos. Definitely worth the investment.

SO here's what you need for the soup:

1 onion
A knob of butter and a dash of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed/chopped finely
1.5kg of carrots (unprepared weight)
1 litre of stock (I used a vegetable oxo cube)
150ml cider
1tsp dried sage
1tsp paprika
The seeds from 3 Cardamom pods, finely crushed
Four or five basil leaves, shredded
Cream or yoghurt, and pumpkin seeds to serve

1. Peel and chop the onion into slices. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and soften for about five minutes. Add your cider to the pan, and let it reduce by about half.
2. Meanwhile, Top, tail and peel your carrots. Chop into slices and add these to the pan.
3. Cover with stock, and add the sage, cardamom and paprika. Let the soup simmer until the carrots have softened. Add a little more cider as it's cooking if you like.
4. When the carrots are soft, turn off the heat. Using a hand blender, whizz the soup until it's smooth. Add the shredded basil leaves, stir through thoroughly and serve with bread and a dollop of cream or yoghurt.

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