Spicy Saffron Vegetable Soup

I’m definitely having a carrot moment, enjoying them more than I can remember. Here they’re teamed with cabbage, another under appreciated vegetable, potatoes and onion but the judicious addition of aniseedy caraway, chilli flakes and saffron, worked wonders. It’s a chunky yet pale and interesting soup flecked with carrot pennies bobbing in the pale yellow broth thickened with melted potato and cous cous, the whole thing livened with a garnish of coriander.I shall be making this again.

Serves 4
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min

1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots
1 potato
½ pointed cabbage
2 chicken stock cubes
generous pinch saffron threads
3 tbsp cous cous
pinch dried chilli flakes
generous pinch caraway seeds
squeeze of lemon
handful of coriander leaves

Halve, trim and peel the onion. Halve the pieces lengthways and slice across the pieces thinly. Heat the oil in medium, lidded pan and stir in the onion with a generous pinch of salt, cook, stirring often, over a medium heat, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until juicy. Scrape the carrots and slice into thin pennies, halving the carrot lengthways if very fat. Peel the potato, cut into chunky dice, rinse and drain. Boil the kettle. Crumble the stock cubes into a measuring jug, top up with 1.5 litres boiling water from the kettle. Add saffron and cous cous, stirring as they settle. Add the dice potato to the onion with a pinch chilli and crushed caraway seeds. Cover and cook for 5 minutes then add the stock, stirring to loosen the cous cous. Bring to the boil, add the carrots and cabbage and simmer, semi-covered for about 5 minutes until the carrot is just tender. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Chop the coriander leaves and add just before serving.