Well, that’s all folks – it seems summer has slinked over without even a whisper. We’ve had glimmers of hope in the last few weeks but I’m rather resigned to the fact that we’ve had the last of the barbecues (although last year I had one in September). This weather just seems to call for bangers and mash, toad in the hole, roast Sunday lunches and warming bowls of soup.This soup is a perfect example of one that you could change depending on the weather. Ideally it is served at room temperature as a summer soup, but if the day is dull and you need cheering up, feel free to serve it warmed through.
The recipe comes from one of my favourite pubs, The Old Bear, sister to The Albion in Islington, which does one of the best Sunday lunches around.
Carrot soup with toasted hazelnuts and pink grapefruit
Buy the best carrots you can for this, preferably organic – they are the star of the show
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 500g organic carrots
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 star anise
- 5g salt
- 1 peeled clove of garlic
- 500ml water
- ½ pink grapefruit
- 10g hazelnuts
- 30ml groundnut oil or vegetable oil
- 10g pitted green olives
- 5 leaves of tarragon chopped
- 5 leaves of coriander chopped or coriander microcress
Peel the carrots. Slice them into even sized pieces. Heat a pan and add the butter and when it starts to bubble add the carrots, garlic, star anise and salt. Place a lid on the pan and allow the carrots to soften.
When they begin to soften, add the water and bring it up to the boil; simmer until the carrots are completely cooked.
Remove the star anise. Take the carrots and the liquid and place in a blender, taking care not to fill it too much. Blitz the soup until smooth. Remove from the jug and allow to cool.
For the garnish, warm the groundnut oil in a pan over a medium heat and toast the hazels until they go golden. Tip them out on to a plate to cool down and reserve the oil. Once the nuts are cold take a rolling pin and hit each nut once just to crush it a little bit.
Cut each olive in 8 pieces. Skin the grapefruit and remove four segments. Dice into five pieces.
Serve the soup at room temperature. Pour into a bowl and top with the garnishes; finish by adding the herbs and a little of the oil you kept from the hazelnuts.