Monday, 24 February 2014

Carrot Soup With Roasted Hazelnuts

As the days get shorter and the feel of autumn fills the air, it's nice to start thinking about eating soup again. Over the long, hot days of summer, soup is the last thing you want to eat. You need something light and fresh with plenty of flavour.

Yes, you can have chilled soups when it's hot, but they've never really been my thing. A small shot of gazpacho perhaps, but I've never really enjoyed a big bowl of a cold soup.

Pumpkin soup is my husbands favourite soup in the whole world! I like it too, but prefer to be a bit more creative than doing the same old thing all the time. This carrot soup was a perfect alternative. Still orange, still hearty and tasty, but with a bit of a twist. The roasted hazelnuts give an extra nuttiness and add texture. The dollop of natural yoghurt gives some acidity and creaminess. The soup is quite thick, so if you prefer, add a bit more stock or water.

I used hazelnuts which were already roasted, as I was feeling lazy and that was all that was available at the time. If you wanted to roast your own, place the nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and tip onto a clean tea towel. Fold into a parcel and rub to remove the bitter skins. Allow to cool before you chop.

We devoured this soup with a beautiful fresh baguette from the local French patisserie. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Carrot Soup With Roasted Hazelnuts

A drizzle of olive oil
1kg carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
100g roasted hazelnuts
Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley and natural yoghurt to serve 

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. 
Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook until the onion begins to soften, but does not brown.
Add the stock and half the hazelnuts, cover with a lid and simmer until the carrots are soft.
Allow to cool slightly, then blitz with a food processor or stick blender until smooth.
Stir through the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Coarsely chop the remaining hazelnuts.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a sprinkling each of parsley and hazelnuts. 

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