Roast Carrot and Cumin Soup

I’ve come increasingly round to the joy of making roast soups. If that sounds incongruous, just let me say that the ingredients are roasted, sometimes with seasonings, then liquidized. It makes soup making very simple, fills the kitchen with glorious aromas and requires very little chopping and faffing. For this soup, scrubbed or scraped carrots are roasted with a smear of oil alongside a couple of unpeeled, quartered decent-sized onions. Seasoning is smoky cumin – sprinkled over the carrots towards the end of cooking – and lemon, the stock made with chicken stock cubes. It ends up thick and a heartening deep orange colour and has a smoky, sweet-sour flavour. It, like so many smooth vegetable soups, is very good with a separately soft-poached egg slipped in just before serving.

Serves 4
700g carrots
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1 litre chicken stock
1 lemon

Turn the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Scrape or scrub the carrots, halve thick ones lengthways. Smear all with olive oil with your hands and lay out on a foil-lined, oil-smeared shallow roasting tin. Trim the ends of the onions and quarter lengthways. Place, cut side down around the edges of the carrots. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 35 minutes, checking for doneness after 25. Dust the carrots with cumin and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove the onion skins and tip everything into the bowl of a food processor/liquidizer. Add the stock and a generous squeeze of lemon. Blitz smooth. Heat in a saucepan, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. That’s it.