And now for something completely different: a recipe for a great vat of carrot soup. It is very inexpensive if a bit labour-intensive.
This is a recipe that feeds at least twelve. You can give 11 - 12 people big bowls of soup, or you can give 11 - 12 people little bowls of soup and then offer them more later. It is suitable for vegetarians, the gluten-intolerant and Fridays.
You need two big soup pots or one big soup pot and a big frying pan. I use a hand-held blender, but I am sure you could use a normal blender or food processor.
Beautiful Buttery Carrot Soup
4 Tbsp butter
3.5 pounds of carrots (£1 at Tesco last week)
3.5 medium onions
3.5 teaspoons of sugar
3.5 teaspoons of garam masala
10 cups of good-quality vegetable stock (I use Kallo organic, gluten-free cubes)
fine sea salt
1. Peel carrots and dice them. This will take a long time.
2. Chop onions.
3. Divide butter between two pots or pot and pan and melt over low heat.
4. Divide carrots and onions between the two pots or pot and pan and fry in butter on low heat until they are soft but not browned. This will also take time. Check on them every once in a while, giving them a stir.
5. When carrots are soft, put the mixture in the pot or bigger pot. It needs to be a very big pot.
6. Add the sugar, the garam masala and the ten cups of stock.
7. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Take your handy-dandy hand blender and blitz the soup until all the carrots and onions are pulverized. Alternatively, cool the soup and blend in batches in a proper blender. Blend and blend and blend until every bit of carrot is squashed. Then go through the soup with a slotted spoon to eliminate the stubborn bits of carrot that have escaped.
9. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
10. If the soup has cooled, either heat it up again to serve or put it in the fridge to be heated up tomorrow. Serve piping hot.
The garam masala adds "heat" but not "bite", at least if it is the garam masala one gets in jars at Tesco.
Using veggie stock instead of chicken allows the carrots to shine out like the sunny elixir of life they really are.
To make soup for 2-3, just use one pot, two Tbsp butter, one pound of carrots, one onion, one tsp of sugar, one tsp garam masala and 3 cups of veggie stock.