Vegan recipe: Warming Carrot Soup

Strapped for cash Brits could avoid a costly Christmas this year by making easy and simple swaps, according to the UK’s leading vegan charity, The Vegan SocietyOn average, a traditional Christmas dinner with a Christmas pudding and custard dessert, picked up from one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, could set you back around £35.47. However, a similar feast for up to six people, made up entirely of vegan alternatives, including nut patties with cranberry-orange sauce and a mincemeat baklava (a twist on a traditional mince pie and cream), only totals £22.18.  This means creating a delicious and nutritious Christmas spread, completely free from animal products, could save you an impressive £13.29 – much needed at a time when the cost of food, fuel and energy bills are all on the rise.

Looking for inspiration? Why not try Jane Hughes’ Warming Carrot Soup with Vegetable Crisps, Nut Patties with Cranberry-Orange Sauce and Christmas Mixed Roasted Vegetables followed by festive Mincemeat Baklava. Delicious, nutritious and completely free from animal products. Try London Mums’ festive recipes which are easy to follow and won’t break the bank.

Vegan recipe for Warming Carrot Soup

Chris Leah Photography

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

This soup recipe includes several options for extra flavour – choose ginger, turmeric, sage, or all three. Each is considered to be good for winter colds! If you have odd ingredients like smoked salt or flavoured oils in the back of the cupboard, they can be used here. 

Fresh sage leaves – two or three per bowl (optional) (1)

1 medium onion (around 75-100g)

4-5 medium carrots (around 400g) (3)

1 medium potato (around 150g)

2 cloves garlic (optional)

1 tsp turmeric (optional)

1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root (optional)

1 litre vegan stock

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp oil for frying (2)

Vegan recipe Warming Carrot Soup

Method

  1. To make the crispy sage leaves, warm the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the sage leaves briefly, then transfer onto a clean dry kitchen towel to drain and crisp up. Leave the sage-infused oil in the pan.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Fry in the oil for 2 minutes.
  3. Peel (see note) and chop the carrots and potato into small pieces (1-2cm), add to the pan, stir well and fry gently for 5 minutes.
  4. Peel and roughly chop the garlic, add to the pan with ginger and/or turmeric if using. Stir to mix well, cook for a further minute, then pour over the vegan stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Cool and then liquidise with a stick blender or using a food processor. Add more water if the soup seems too thick. 
  5. Reheat, season with salt and pepper according to your personal taste, and serve in starter sized portions, decorated with crispy sage leaves. 

 

Any left-over soup will keep in the fridge for a few days and can be re-heated. It can also be frozen. In fact, if you’ve ended up with a lot of spare carrots, you could double up the quantities and freeze some soup ready for another wintery day.

 

Additional tips 

  1. The sage leaves have to be fresh – dried leaves won’t work here. If, instead of buying a few sprigs of sage in a plastic packet, you can invest in a small pot of growing sage, you can plant it in your garden or in an outdoor pot and it will probably grow like crazy and last for many years.
  2. Oil of your choice – use whatever you have. Coconut oil or vegetable oil would be fine. If you have good quality olive oil, save it for dressing salads and raw foods.
  3. Some people peel carrots and potatoes, others scrub them and eat the skins. Either is fine here as long as the skins are clean – you don’t want grit in your soup. Even if you decide to peel, give the veg a scrub first – that way, the peelings can go into a box in the freezer to be converted into a vegetable stock when you’ve collected enough. Or have a go at making vegetable crisps – maybe you could serve these alongside the soup.

Vegetable Crisps

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Make sure your vegetables are nice and clean and peel them thinly. 
  2. Pat the peelings dry with a clean kitchen towel and put them into a large bowl. 
  3. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and your choice of flavourings – salt and pepper, some dried herbs, maybe some smoked paprika, ground cumin or dried garlic granules. Don’t go overboard – the crisps will be thin and light, and they are easily overpowered by seasonings. 
  4. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper (optional, but it stops the peelings from sticking to the tray). 
  5. Mix the peelings and seasonings well and spread over the baking tray. Make sure they are in a single layer, not piled up, otherwise they will steam instead of crisping up. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, keeping a close eye on them and mixing them up half way through the time. 
  7. When they are golden brown, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool and crisp up.

 

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