Carrots are wonderful vegetables. We like to grate them and liberally dose them with olive oil, sea salt and aged sherry vinegar for a fresh side salad. But roasting carrots gives them a whole new level of complexity, turning the ordinary into the sublime. By caramelising the sugars, the carrot flavour becomes richly concentrated, an essence of sweet earthiness.
Which makes it just the perfect substitute for pumpkin or potatoes. Puree roasted carrots into a mash and serve it as a bed for pan fried snapper or, even better, make this beautiful soup which will silence even the most boisterous table.
Requirements: a roasting pan, a pot and a food processor
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour, maybe less if you are speedy
4 people. Serve with a crusty French baguette slathered in Pepe Saya’s cultured butter.
- 1.2 kilos carrots
- 1 litre The Stock Merchant Handmade Vegetable Stock
- 1 small brown onion
- A tiny bit of ginger, or garlic, or both
- 1 sprig of thyme, if you have it
- Salt and pepper
- Peel and chop the carrot ends off. Quarter into 3 centimetre long pieces.
- Throw in baking dish, toss in olive oil and salt and put in oven at 180˚C.
- Let the carrots caramelise for 30 or 40 minutes, turning every so often. They should brown but not blacken.
- Dice the onions and sauté in a pot with more olive oil. If using, finely mince the ginger and garlic.
- Add the vegetable stock, throw in some salt and bring to boil.
- Remove carrots from oven and throw in the vegetable stock. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add more salt if required and pepper to taste.
- Puree mixture in food processor until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a spoon of water.
- Return to pan. Chill if using later. When ready to serve, reheat and place a sprig of thyme on the top of each soup bowl.