This soup is a ray of gorgeous sunshine during these greyer months: adding ginger to carrots gives them zest and zinginess, a trick which works just as well with butternut squash. 

It’s a dish that goes perfectly with hazelnut and parsley pesto, though the hazelnuts can be swapped out for toasted pine nuts or almonds. Whichever you choose, don’t blend things too finely as it’s always nicer when it’s a bit chunky.

Using your own vegetable stock makes a huge difference and it’s easy to do — just add a few carrots, onions, leeks, celery and herbs to a large pot of water, bring them to the boil and leave to simmer for a couple of hours. 


Drain and discard the cooked vegetables and you’re left with a delicious homemade stock, one which freezes incredibly well. I tend to fill an ice tray with the stock too so when I’m making gravy from the juices after a roast, I can just pop a couple of these frozen stock cubes into the pan to add a bit of extra flavour.

You can also double or treble the soup recipe and it will stay good in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for a couple of months. Either way, it always tastes good with a decent Chardonnay.

Sunny carrot and ginger soup with hazelnut and flat-leaf parsley pesto

Serves:

Prep time: 15 mins 

Cooking time: 25 mins 

Serve with: Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Chenaudières 2016 Cave de Lugny, £11.99 from Majestic Wines 

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsps olive oil 
  • 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock 
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For the pesto

  • 100g fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 50g hazelnuts, toasted 
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper 

Method

1. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat then stir in the onion, garlic, potato, ginger and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the carrots are tender. 

2. Remove the lid and pour in the hot stock, stirring well, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes. 

3. Pour the soup into a food processor and blend to a smooth consistency. 

4. Next, make the pesto by placing all the ingredients into a food processor and blitzing for a few seconds. The pesto should be chunky and not too blended. 

5. To serve, pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the pesto.

Follow Clodagh on Instagram @clodagh_mckenna





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