Making one of my favourite soups

Carrot and lemon soup is one of my favourites.
The recipe comes from Rose Elliot’s ‘Complete Vegetarian Cookbook’.

I normally make sure I have some carrots in the fridge but when I went shopping on Friday I bought all these carrots and a lemon with an eye to making some carrot and lemon soup this week.

The recipe calls for ‘6 medium carrots’ so I think the three largest of these will probably be enough. That’s about 1lb. (454g).

First lets collect the other ingredients.

1 onion and two sticks of celery.

Since I’ve been making soup regularly (most weeks I make enough for five helpings – one each day) I have solved my moral and financial dilemma, about whether to eat the stalks of vegetables or throw them away, by throwing them in my soup.

This week it is some broccoli stalks. They will add extra flavour as I almost always use water rather than stock in my soup.

I slice the carrots in half then half again and chop.

Then I chop the onion, celery and broccoli stalks and add to the carrots.

I grate the lemon rind.
For the last 40 years or so I have used this grater

but a year or so ago I decided that it was getting too difficult to grate the rind off oranges or lemons with it and I heard of these microplane graters and although they were rather expensive (about £20) I decided I would buy one.

This Cuisipro Accutec one seemed to be the best so I bought it and I must say it is wonderful.

You just rub it over the lemon and the zest collects on the slightly curved side all ready to be used.

Now we are ready.

I put some olive oil in my largest saucepan. (The original recipe says ½oz (15g) of butter but I prefer to use olive oil.)

Add the vegetables

and gently soften on a low heat for 10-15mins

Then I add 1.5pts (850ml) of water, half a teaspoon of the grated rind, with a bay leaf, and a sprinkle of salt and some ground pepper.

Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 20-30 mins.

While the soup is cooking I squeeze the lemon on this: one of my mother’s cast offs.

She said it was actually a lime squeezer (think Singapore and limes a plenty) but I have managed to use it to squeeze lemons all my life.

When the soup is cooked I wizz in the blender a few times.

At this point you can taste it and decide if you need more salt or pepper.

Then add lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) and the rest of the zest (another ½ teaspoon) to taste.

And it is ready

The recipe says to sprinkle it with chopped parsley but I don’t have any so I serve it as it is.

And as the weather has changed from bright and sunny to dull and wet. I have to take the last photograph near the window with the plate balanced on my dish drainer

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