Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Take the last of the season's carrots, picked en masse before the frosts get too bad. Peel and chop them small. Next, melt some butter in a large pan, add chopped onion and fry until soft and golden. Add in a leek, finely sliced, and several sticks of celery, chopped. You can add a little coriander seed, bashed about in a pestle and mortar if you like. Fry off for a little while, then add the carrots. Cover with boiling water, bung in a couple of bay leaves and bring to the boil.

Let this simmer until the carrots are good and soft, then extract the bay leaves and whizz the whole mixture up with an electric whizzer until it is thick and smooth. Alternatively, pour into a blender (having first removed the frog and rinsed out all the horse pooh*) and puree the mixture that way, returning it to the pan afterwards. Turn the heat down low.

Remove the seeds from a half dozen or so cardamom pods. Crush them in the pestle and mortar you used for the coriander seed (or a different one if you decided not to have the coriander seed) and add to the mix.

Grate a block of creamed coconut and add it into the soup too.

Season with lots of black pepper, freshly cracked, and Maldon salt. You can round out the flavour with a little bit of brown sugar if you like - it goes really well with the natural sweetness of the carrots. The exact quantities are up to you - I can't tell you how salty you like things, and neither do I know what your end of season carrots taste like.

Serve with fresh bread. If you're not on a diet, swirl a little double cream through the hot soup - it looks dead professional.

Guess what I spent this morning doing.

*it's a long story - but think twice about accepting a fruit smoothie if the Horse Doctor offers you one.


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