Roasted Carrot Soup. Hot Soup. Cold Summer.

You see, there are many things wrong with the title of this post. First, I should be really writing about Gazpacho. Why? Well (and that’s my second point) I happen to live in that part of the globe where summer should rhyme with heat. Sun. Lovely afternoons spent in a park.

Not so! Today we have no more, no less than 15C (59F) which for the 18th July is simply unacceptable. That means sweater. No photography light. And although I try to resist as much as possible, cravings for comfort food. Hearty soups. Stodgy dinners. It’s all a mess, really!

A hot, comforting soup seemed a good compromise. Filling, yet packing less calories than the alternative. Or one of the alternatives at least. Easy to make, rich, vibrant colours … there is a lot to say about a traditional carrot soup. Yet this is the first time I tried a roasted carrot soup. Why did I never think of it? I’m all about roasted vegetables yet never thought of putting them in blender – voila, soup. That goes to show that you’re never too old to learn.

The recipe is from Olive/ April 2008. (On a side note, I have been ignoring my cook books lately and I feel very guilty about it. Does this happen to you as well?) There is no rocket science to this soup, but you’ll taste the difference of the roasting. And at 228cal per serving – although that again, tells me absolutely nothing because I have no idea what Olive consider a ‘serving’ – guilt free lunch/dinner. The mind is a fabulous thing, isn’t it? Tell me it’s 228cal per serving and I already feel so much better!

Roasted Carrot Soup (serves 6)
1 onion, cut into wedges
800gr carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1tbsp runny honey
2l vegetable or chicken stock
200ml creme fraiche
4tsbp chopped herbs (mint, basil and chervil)

Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and put the onions and carrots in a roasting tin which a few knobs of butter? Roast for 30min or until the vegetables are tinged brown. Tip into a pan, add the bay leaf, honey and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10min or until the carrots are very tender, then remove the bay leaf (obviously, I totally forgot this step and crunched away at the bay leaf) and whizz the lot in a blender until smooth. Season and keep warm.

Mix the creme fraiche and the herbs, season, and serve the soup with quenelles of herbed creme fraiche. Out of curiosity, how many Olive readers really use ‘quenelles’ in their daily cooking life when all it means is a table spoon of creme fraiche? I mean, the recipe it’s all about rustic cooking, fresh ingredients, and then bam! quenelles. Please!

If you are into soups, plenty more to choose from. What is your latest soup creation?

I am also submitting this roasted carrot soup to the Healthy Cooking event over at Fun and Food. Why do I think this soup is healthy? Well, because all the ingredients used are fresh and full of vitamins. It is low in calories, high in taste. And it’s fast. A healthy craving alternative perhaps.

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