It’s that time of year again when I usually switch from salads to soups as my main go-to for lunches at work. Most supermarkets offer great soups in a wide range of flavours, which are ideal if you’re pushed for time. However, they can end up costing a lot more, and sometimes contain stabilizers and other random ingredients that you don’t really want – so I highly recommend making your own. If you do a batch, it’s freezable so you can stock-up for the winter months. No brainer!
As you know, I love spice, so I wanted a soup that was warming, healthy and super-tasty. This soup has loads of carrots, so is high in vitamin-A and low in saturated fat; making it perfect for a little health-boost (always welcomed, especially at this time of year!)
I’ve been trying out a few different recipes recently, but none are as good as this one from Sainsbury’s Magazine. Hats off to cook Tamsin Burnett-Hall (twitter: @cooksewgrow) who created this recipe, it truly is delicious and has been perfectly crafted for full-on flavour without overloading on calories. The soup topping, tarka, is a mix of spices fried in oil until fragrant, then added just before serving. It’s what makes this soup extra special, perfect for lunch in the week (just take the tarka in a little separate tub), or ideal for a starter if you have people round for dinner.
The original recipe makes 8 portions, but my casserole dish only has room for 6, so I have adapted the recipe slightly to make 6 hearty portions instead. In total it takes around 50 minutes to make from start to finish.
what you need:
for the soup
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 650g carrots
- 350g parsnips
- 1 tsp grated root ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 litre good quality veg stock
for the tarka
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp shredded root ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 1-2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely sliced
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 6 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt
- handful of freshly chopped coriander
what to do:
1. For the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish, add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes until softened but still pale. Meanwhile, scrub (no need to peel), trim and chop the carrots and parsnips into 2 cm chunks.
2. Add the ginger and spices to the onion and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, then add the carrots and parsnips and mix to coat them in the spices.
3. Pour in the veg stock, season and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
4. Blend the soup in a liquidiser or using a hand blender until smooth.
5. For the tarka, heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and fry the ginger, garlic, chilli and mustard seeds for 1-2 minutes, until the seeds start popping and the garlic begins to change colour.
6. Ladle the soup into cups or bowls and swirl in a spoonful of natural yogurt and a few bits of coriander. Sprinkle over the chilli and garlic topper just before serving and enjoy -x-