There is something very comforting about the arrival of autumn. Unfortunately it does mean that summer is behind us for another year, but in its own way, autumn signals a time of comfort and warmth with all the vibrant oranges, reds and yellows nature has to offer. It is a beautiful time of year easing us gently from balmy summer nights towards the darker days of winter.
When it comes to the autumn harvest, markets and shops are over flowing with the deep tones of the last of the September berries, figs, crisp freshly picked apples and plums, mixed with the new bright bursts of squash and pumpkins sitting prominently like lanterns guiding us towards their natural glow.
Despite the crisp layer of frost this morning, today has turned into another beautiful day. There is a slight chill in the air but the sun is shining brightly and so after a lovely walk the perfect lunch for me is my carrot and ginger soup. This soup is perfect for warming you up on an autumn day and banishing any signs of that first cold. It will go fast so I recommend doubling the recipe and putting half of it in the freezer, ready for another day.
Carrot & Ginger Soup
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely sliced
1 leek, washed thoroughly and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4-5 large carrots, (roughly 1 lb) peeled and sliced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 litre of vegetable stock
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
Creme fraiche or sour cream to serve (optional)
In a large pan melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and leek and cook for roughly 5 minutes until softened but not coloured, then add the garlic, carrots, ginger and chilli. Cover and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes before adding the stock, ground coriander and a little seasoning. Cover and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are soft. Cool slightly before blending in a liquidizer or processor. Taste the soup to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary, then add the fresh parsley and serve piping hot with lots of crusty bread.