Preparation time: 10 minutes? 15?
Cooking time: as long as it takes.
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 2/more, if you increase the quantities. clearly.
Dietary guidance: v
. 1 onion (or an appropriate amount of onion in relation to the other ingredients/how much you like onions)
. root ginger
. rather a large number of carrots (i used about seven or eight, some of which were still sort of slender and youngish)
. clear runny honey
. cashew nuts
. ground cumin
. hemp oil (well, i used hemp oil. use any oil you like!)
. soy sauce
. marigold vegetable bouillon powder / other vegetable stock (if all else fails, just boil some celery for ages and use the water from that!)
1. if the carrots need washing (mine did), wash them. any young and skinny carrots can probably just be left without peeling, but older carrots will probably need peeling. then chop them into chunks of around one and a half inches in length; if the carrots are large, you may then need to halve (or possibly even quarter) these pieces again, lengthways, naturally. place the carrot pieces into a saucepan.
2. cover the carrots with cold water (and i mean literally just COVER; don't fill the pan!), and place over a medium-high heat. bring to the boil.
3. when it's all boiling merrily, add some chunks of butter and squeeze a load of honey (about 2-3 tbsp) into the pan. stir well, and turn the heat down. just allow the carrots to simmer merrily in this mixture until they are soft and the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated... this may take around half an hour to forty minutes. when the liquid is almost gone, turn the heat up a little, which should scorch the honey and caramelise the carrots.
4. while the carrots are boiling, peel & chop the onion, not too roughly, but not too finely. heat some oil in a small saucepan; when it's hot, add the onion, stir and turn the heat down to medium-low; soften the onion.
5. while the onion is softening, peel and finely grate a piece of root ginger around 2 inches in length.
6. once the onion has softened, add a few pinches of cumin; stir, then add the grated ginger. stir again and cook for a minute or so, then remove the pan from the heat. allow the mixture to cool a little, then put a lid on the pan.
7. when the carrots are done, tip them into a blender, followed by the onion mixture. blend. don't let it get too smooth, as the soup is meant to be fairly "rustic" / chunky... you may have to keep stopping to poke the carrots at the top down towards the blades. when it's all done, transfer the mixture back into the carrot saucepan.
8. if you're making up the stock from powder, do it now (make it incredibly weak, though, as otherwise the taste will be a little spoiled...). add your stock to the saucepan, little by little, until a good consistency is achieved (not too watery, but not too thick either). you probably won't need to use the whole quantity of stock, unless you made a tiny amount. mix it all together, and then allow the soup to heat over a very low heat for a few minutes while you prepare the cashew nuts.
9. in the onion saucepan, heat a little more hemp oil over a medium-high heat. splash a goodly amount of soy sauce into the oil (about 2 tbsp? more?). when it's fairly hot, add a few handfuls of cashew nuts, and stir-fry them, tossing them around in the oil and soy mixture, until they are toasted (they'll be REALLY hot by this point!). remove from the heat.
10. ladle the soup out into bowls, and serve with the cashew nuts placed on top.
11. eat it all up!