Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Cheating at carrot soup

The carrot soup seems to have worked. With only two carrots, I had to cheat slightly, as I'll explain.

To make the soup, I took a good knob of butter and melted it in a heavy-bottomed pan. I finely chopped the two carrots and the small onion, and put them in with the butter. I left both to soften for ten minutes with a small amount of powdered ginger and garlic and some fresh nutmeg. Then I added a handful of oats to soak up any remaining fat and ladled in some stock from my stock pot and added a handful of rice. I left this to cook gently for twenty minutes and then I cheated.

I like chunky soups. I grew up with chunky soups. My leek and potato soup is nothing but chunks. These whizzed-up blended soups are for tins and cartons and restaurants that want their soup to look like they came out of tins and cartons. But two carrots don't make for a chunky soup. So I had to put it through the blender to make it go further.

Now, Wikipedia says that blenders were invented just after the first war. But they didn't become common, at least in the UK, until the 1950s or even the 1960s. What contemporary housewives did usually have, now completely gone, was a mechanical mincer. But a mincer wouldn't've made puréed soup. So I've cheated, using technology not generally available in 1940 to get round the shortages.

Back to the soup. Out of the blender and back into the pan, heating it gently covered, adjusting the seasoning according to taste. I've now taken it off the heat and will bring it back when CJBS gets home at 7:30pm. I'll serve it with more of those brown bread croutons as a starter before the faked rarebit.


Kif............ said...

Well, it wasn't really cheating. It tasted (surprisingly) every bit as good as modern carrot soup in a modern veggy restaurant might do. I think the addition of a mite of ginger was a master stroke. Gave a faint tug to the taste buds that made it remarkably tasty. Carrot soup can be bland - this one was not!

Kecske said...

I remember seeing on a cooking programme when I was little the cook (it would probably have been Dorothy Sleightholme) boiling the vegetables until they were mush and then forcing them through a sieve with a wooden spoon. Something about putting Muslin in the sieve as well rings a mild bell too.

RJ Graham said...

Yes, passing it through a sieve would do the same as blending it; ironically, whilst expressing bafflement as to how blending could be done in 1940, I made the main course by passing a potato through a sieve as a shortcut to blending or mashing it!

ps: I bought some Camp coffee-essence as you suggested. I'll be trying it when I've plucked up the courage!